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/oo h rj 

loo t> i7 ^'*'** 









Fint Proteatant MiaHonarp in India. 


Late qftke Leipric Mi$rionarp Society. ' v 




REY. 6. J. METZGER, ^ 

A Miuionary-i» connection with the MadrM Free Church cf Scotland Mieeion. 


€opyriffht reierred* 

' loo R> 27 



The Translator's Preface ix 

Dr. Germann's Preface to the German Version (^abridged) xv 

Ziegenbalg's Preface xvii 

Table of the Genealogy of the South-Indian Gods 1 



I. E. 


Introdaction 9 

Chap. I. Parabaravastu as immaterial, formless, and incomparable... 17 

Chap. II. Parabaravastu as a material, visible being 23 

Chap. III. Siva, as the Masculine Power of th§ Pai*abaravastu 29 

Chap. IV. Sakti, as the Feminine Power of the Parabaravastu 36 



I. E. 



Introduction » 41 

Chap. I. Isvara 43 

Chap. II. Isvara's two Wives, Parvati and Ganga 54 

Chap. III. Vighn^svara, Isvara's Elder Son 59 

Chap. IV. Subhramanya, Isvara^s Younger Son, with his two 

Wives Devajanai and Valliammai 63 



Chap. V. Vishnu 70 

Chap. VI. Vishnu's two Wives, Lakshmi and Bhumidgvi 88 

Chap. VII. Vishnu*8 Sons, viz.: Manmatha with his wife Rati ; 

Kusa and Lava (his sons as Rama) 93 

Chap. VIII. Brahma and his Wife Sarasvati 97 


Chap. I. Sacrifices (Puja and Homa) and Mantras. « 101 

Chap. II. A Description of some of the principal Hindu Festivals. 105 

Chap. III. The Purohitas and Gurus (Hindu Priests) 110 

Chap. IV. Hindu Philosophers and Philosophy 114 

Chap. V. The Doctrine of the Transmigration of the Soul 1 25 




Introduction 131 

Chap. I. Ayenar, with his two Wives, Ptiranai and Pudkalai.... 133 

Chap. II. Ellammen and Mariammen 136 

Chap. IIL Ankalammen and Bhadrakali 141 

Chap. IV. Pidari, Chamundi, and Durga 1 44 

Chap. V. Virabhadra 146 

Chap. VI. Malignant Beings, viz. : Demons, called Peygel and 

Bhtltas ; and Giants, named Rakshasas and Asuras . . 152 



Introduction 1 56 

1 . The Shanar Ideas respecting the Divine Being • 158 

2. The Shanar Ideas respecting a Future State 160 

3. The Shanar Worship of Devils 161 

( I .) Devil-Dancing 168 

(2.) The Offering of Bloody Sacrifices 1 70 

The Origin of the Shanar Demonolatry 171 






lotrodaction 177 

Chap. I. The Devas, (secondary Ckxls), with D^vgndra, Indrani, 

and Chitraputra (or Chitragupta) 178 

Chap. IT. The Rishis or great Sages 181 

Chap. III. The Attendants and Servants of the Gods 187 

Chap. IV. The Ashtadikpalakas or the Regents of the Eight Car- 
dinal Points 191 


Chap. I. The Gods of the Vedas 195 

Chap. II. The Legend of Sunahsepha 202 

Note on the Languages of Southern-India 207 

Index i 

Errata and Addenda zx 

Table of the Tamil Alphabet xxiu 

Ql^i ®rAtts(a(0(*S Ptif<i((* 

"■^■"■^ ^"^ •" ii -u~Lru'i_ru~LnLf -r~i-n- 

Soon after the publication of Ziegenbalg's Genealogy of the South- 
Indian* Gods in German, the Rev. Dr. Caldwell, well known both as a 
Missionary and a scholar, reviewed the work in an article which appear- 
ed in the ^'Madras Times'*; and as he may be regarded as a competent judge 
of such matters, I quote here a few passages from it, to show the merits of 
the work of which herewith a free Translation is presented to the Public. 

" The Genealogy of the Malabar (South-Indian) Gods, by the cele- 
brated Ziegenbalg, is a remarkable book, with a remarkable history. 
It is not a little remarkable that a book on a subject intimately connected 
with Indian interests should have been published in Madras, the Southern 
capital of British India, not in English, but in German ; and it is still 
more remarkable that the book which has now seen the light, though 
an interesting and valuable work, and one which is fitted to be of great 
service to Europeans residing in Southern India by helping them to a 
better understanding of the mythology and religion of the people amongst 
whom they live, should have been doomed to lie on the shelf unheeded 
for 1 54 years before it found an editor and publisher [in the person of 
Dr. Germann.] ♦ • • 

'* Dr. G^rmann's acquirements and habits of thought rendered him quite 
capable of doing justice to the work. The task he thus imposed upon 
himself turned out to be far from being an easy one. He had to be tran- 
scriber, reviser and corrector, editor and publisher, all in one, and in 
addition to this, in order to adapt the book to the present state of Oriental 
knowledge and render it more perfect, he was under the necessity of 
making additions to it to the extent apparently of about a third of lis 
entire contents ; but all this he has done, in the midst of bad health and 
other troubles alluded to in the preface, with a patience, thoroughness 
and love of his subject which cannot be praised more highly than by 
calling them " German." 

'< Ziegenbalg's work exhibits in a clear and connected form not only the 
** Genealogy of the Gods", though this holds the leading place in the title- 
page, but also all the information he could obtain from books and written 
communications respecting the names and titles, the attributes and offi- 
ces of each divinity, the manner in which they are represented by images 
and pictures, the legends current respecting them, the temples built to 
their honor, the worship offered to them, the days sacred to them as fast 
or festival days, and the poems and other books written about them ; 

* In the German Original the tenn " Malabar" is used for "South-Indian," as wa» 
the custom in Ziegenbalg's time. 



in short, the whole round of popular Hinduism. The work has iiot in- 
creased in value by keeping, but on the other hand its value has not been 
diminished, for the religion of the people has remained unchanged, and 
all that was recorded respecting it by Ziegenbalg is as true now as it was 
150 years ago. In one particular indeed it may be regarded as an ad- 
vantage that the book was written so long ago ; for as it faithfully re- 
presents the statements and ideas of the pre -scientific period, without the 
conjectures and glosses, if also without tlie learning, of modem times, it 
enables us all the better to understand the Hinduism actually held up to 
the present day by those Hindus whom English education and English 
influences have failed to reach. • • • 

'' This work has a special value for Southern India and the Tamil 
country. All the books that have hitherto been published on the my. 
thology and religious usages of the Hindus have occupied themselves 
wholly or chiefly with Northern India,* so that the resident in the South 
who takes up one of those books in the hope of being enabled accurately 
to understand what passes around him either fails to obtain much of the 
information he looked for, or is led astray by statements, which, though 
correct as regards the North, are incorrect as regards the South. • • • 

^^ Dr. Germann would have better consulted tbe sale of his book, and 
its usefulness also, if he had followed the example of his learned country- 
man Dr. Haug, late of Poena, who published in English his valuable 
Works on Sanskrit and Zend literature. His work would then have been 
read with pleasure by many persons interested in Southern India to 
whom it is now a sealed book. If however the fact that it is in German 
makes the sale of the book, as it must do, at least in India, very limited, 
it must be allowed that it imposes upon every Englishman in Southern 
India who knows even a modicum of German the obligation of purchas- 
ing a copy, though it is to be feared that even this will not preserve the 
editor from suffering in pocket from his adventurous undertaking of pub- 
lishing a book in Madras in German." — 

According to these passages, Dr. Caldwell entertains a very favorable 
opinion of Ziegenbalg's Genealogy of the South-Indian Gods in German, 
and thinks it well worthy of being translated into English. And, with- 
out doubt, its contents are very valuable indeed. Treating as it is of the 
Gods systematically, the little unpretending work presents a clearer view 
of the Hindu Pantheon and Pandemonium than any other work on Hindu 
mythology I have seen ; and free as it is from all fantastical conjectures and 

* The Rev. W. Taylor has writteaa litjjle book entitled " A Hand-book of Hindu 
Mythology and Philosophy," which is, according to the preface, intended more espe- 
cially for Southern India ; hut as all the articles in it are short, and as they foUov 
each other in alphabetical order, it is rather a Dictionary, than a Hand-hook) of Hindu 
Mythology; and the many fanciful conjectures and comparisons with Egyptian 
mythology which it contains do not enhance its value. 

Also a work by the Abb6 Dubois, entitled '* A Description of the Character, Man- 
ners, and Customs of the People of India," edited by the Rev. Dr. Pope, refers 
chiefly to Southern India ; but it is not a Mythology, and is almost exclusively occu- 
pied with the usages of the Brahmans only. [The Translator.] 


fiaaecessary comparisons, and containing the opinions of Natives regard-* 
ing their own religion, and more especially referring to Southern India, it 
gives us more accurate information respecting the popular religion of the 
millions that inhabit the southern part of this great peninsula, than any 
of the learned books that have been written on the religion of the Hindus. 
But the work is therefore not free from defects. Ziegenbalg's style^ in 
which the £ditor has not changed a word, is not only old-fashioned, but 
also moi'e or less neglected ; and Dr. Germann*s additions to almost every 
single chapter, written in a modern style, impress upon the book the cha- 
racter of patch- work. 

This being the case, and seeing that Dr. Germann himself says in his 
preface, that the work should be better digested and be rendered more uni- 
form and complete, I have not simply translated it into English (though 
I thought at first of nothing eL^), but endeavoured to improve the 
English version of the work to the best of my ability, by translating the 
original the longer the more freely, and omitting, on the one hand, all 
unnecessary repetitions and whatever seemed to me not very interesting, 
and adding, on the other hand, much new and, in my opinion, very 
Faluable matter, chiefly in the shape of appendices. 

To indicate all the numerous little omisdions and additions throughout 
the work, would have been tedious and awkward ; wherefore I have re«- 
frained from doing so. 1 have, however, always given the names of the 
works from which I have quoted longer or shorter passages ; and I may 
here state that the greater number of the notes in Farts i and ii are trans^ 
lations from the German original, while the principal improvementSi 
omissions and additions, throughout the work, are as follows : — 

In Part i. I have omitted Dr. Germann*s addition to chapter i, consist- 
ing of quotations from Dr. Graul's '' Indische Sinnpflanzen," the contents 
of which are very similar to those of chapter i ; and for Ziegenbalg's short 
Introduction, which contains hardly any thing which is not also, in other 
words, said in the sequel, I have substituted a lengthy Introduction of 
my own, showing that the religious philosophy of the Hindus, though 
seemingly theistic, is actually pantheistic, and infinitely inferior to the 
practical theology of the Bible. 

In Part ii. I have efiected various improvements, more especially in 
chapter v. in the account of Vishnu's Avataras or incarnations, where 
I have inserted various particulars, chiefly from Prof. H. H. Wilson's 
Translation of the Vishnu Purana. Of Dr. Germann's additions to the 
several chapters of this part, I have retained the most interesting par- 
ticulars in the shape of notes, and for the rest I have substituted 
an Appendix, carefully compiled from various works on the religion 
and philosophy of the Hindus, in five chapters : — Chap, i, containing 
a concise description of the ofierings which are made to the principal 
divinities, and an account of the celebrated Mantras or formulae of 
prayer ; partly condensed/rom the last chapter of the German original, 
and partly extracted from the Abbe Dubois' work on the ** Character, 
Manners, and Customs of the Hindus.*' Chap, ii, containing a descrip- 


tion of some of the principal Hindu Festivals, taken partly from the last 
chapter but one of the original, and partly from the Abb6 Dubois' work. 
Chap, ill, containing an account of the priests called Furohitas and 
Gurus ; likewise extracted from Dubois' work. Chap, iv, containing a 
brief sketch of the lives and systems of some of the most celebrated 
Hindu philosophers, extracted partly from Prof. H. H. Wilson's ** Hindu 
Sects," and partly from a work of Nehemiah ^ilakantha Sastri Gore, 
entitled *' A Rational Refutation of the Hindu Philosophical Systems, 
translated into English by Fitz Edward Hall, D. C. L. Oxon." Chap. 
V, containing a refutation of the doctrine of the Transmigration of the 
Soul, from the last named work of the Christian Pandit Nllakantha. 

In Part iii. I have made many improvements, chiefly by omitting un- 
necessary repetitions and by inserting an interesting account of Virabha- 
dra and the sacrifice of Daksha which he destroyed, translated from the 
Vayu Purana, and inserted by Prof. Wilson in his translation of the 
Vishnu Purana. For Dr. Germann's additions to the several chapters of 
this part, consisting chiefly of fragmental extracts from Dr. Graul's '* Reise 
nach Ostindien" and Dr. Caldwell's " Tinnevelly Shanars," I have 
substituted an Appendix, which contains a connected account of the re- 
ligion of the Shanars, from the last named instructive little work by Dr. 
Caldwell^* and which forms a very fitting complement to Ziegenbalg's 
account of the Tutelar Deities and Demons. 

Also in Part iv. 1 have eflected various improvements! and as a speci- 
men of the stories related in the Puranas, I have added to Chapter iii. 
« story concerning Urvasi, the most celebrated of the courtesans of 
Svarga, the Indian Elysium, from the Vishnu Purana ; and, as stated 
nbove, of the two last chapters of the original, containing an account of 
no less than fourteen festivals and twenty-one " Pujas,'' all very similar 
to each other, I have retained only the essence and the most interesting 
particulars, and inserted them in the first two chapters of the Appendix 
to Part ii. For Dr. Germann's additions to Part iv, consisting chiefly of 
fragmental extracts from " Lassen's Indische Alterthumskunde," Prof. 
Max Mtiller's "History of Ancient Sanscrit Literature," and some other 
works, I have substituted an Appendix, containing, in a connected 
form, various interesting particulars concerning the religion of the ancient 
Hindus, viz., in chapter i, which is headed "The Gods of the Vedas,'^ an 
instructive passage from Prof, Wilson's preface to his translation of the 
Vishnu Purana concerning the changes which Hinduism has undergone 
since the time of the compilation of the Vedas to the present day, and, 
moreover, several hymns of the Rig-Veda from Prof. Max Mtiller's 
very instructive History of Ancient Sanscrit Literature ; and in chapter 
ii. the ancient legend of Sunahsepha, which is in various respects very in- 
teresting, more especially as showing that, in olden times, the Brahmans 
did not shrink from offering bloody, and occasionally even human sacri- 

• Dr. Caldwell, on belD^ asked, very readily permitted me to make use of this 
little work of his^ and I trust, also the other authors or editors would have done soi 
if they had been asked. 


fices to their gods, and which is likewise taken from the learned Professor's 
History of Sanscrit Literature. 

Last of all, 1 have also made and subjoined an Index, without which 
a book of this description is incomplete ; and as it contains all and only 
the names and terms of some interest, with various particulars con- 
cerning them, it forms a sort of mythological Dictionary, and will there- 
fore 6e found to be very useful. 

To be quite complete the work ought also to contain figures of the vari- 
ous gods and goddesses, but inasmuch as a minute description of every one 
of them is given, and as engravings would have made the work much 
dearer, the book is perhaps, like the German edition, better without them. 
Almost all the numerous names of the various divinities as well as 
the other Indian terms in this work have been translated into English, 
and are, as in the original, written both in Tamil and in Roman charac- 
ters. Sanscrit words, however, (and the greater number of the Indian 
terms occuring in this work are of Sanscrit origin) cannot be written cor- 
rectly in either the Roman or the Tamil characters ; for the Sanscrit 
language has more sounds and characters than any of the European 
languages, and also more than Tamil. The Sanscrit has, for instance, no 
less than eight ' d' & ' t' sounds and characters, of which four are cere- 
brals and four dentals ; whereas the Tamil has but one character for the 
four cerebrals, and one only for the four dentals, and the Roman alphabet 
has no character at all for the cerebrals ; nor is there in either a charac- 
ter for the Sanscrit sibilant between ' s' and *sh'.* To make up for this 
deficiency. Oriental scholars, in writing Sanscrit words in Roman 
characters, distinguish the cerebrals from the dentals by dots, thus 
^ t', * d*, and the sibilant spoken of from s, by adding an accent to s, 
thus ' s'' ; but inasmuch as these signs are hardly of any use for those 
who know none of the Indian languages, (because they can hardly dis- 
-tinguish the cerebrals from the dentals in pronunciation), and as those 
who know Tamil or Sanscrit can do without them, I have omitted them, 
as they are also omitted in the original ; but to make up, to some extent, 
for this defect, I have added them to every term in the Index. All San- 
scrit words have undergone some change in Tamil, but in transcribing 
the Tamil in Roman characters, I have, following Dr. Germann, re- 
stored the original Sanscrit, as far aspossiblel; and, as a rule, expressed 
the plural of such terms by adding an * s' to the singular ; but pure 
Tamil words I have transcribed both in the singular and in the plural as 
they are pronounced in Tamil. The vowels in all the Indian terms are 
to be pronounced in the Continental manner, as may be seen from the 
Table of the Tamil alphabet. In distinguishing the long vowels from 
the short by a dash, thus * §,', I have imitated the original, which I have 
also followed in not marking the initials ; but in the Index they are 


marked thus* A.* 

• For further particulars see the Tamil Alphabet at the'end of the work, (page 207). 
"t" The word '^Parabaravastu" has intentionally been written so, and nof Parapara- 


As Ziegenbalg's style is old-fashioned and more or less neglected, the 
work of translating the original into good English was far from being 
easy ; and though I have done my best to make the book readable, by 
translating the longer the more freely, and effecting many little improve- 
ments while the work was being carried through the Press, I do not 
suppose it to be faultless. As English is not my mother tongue, there 
may be here and there a phrase which is not quite idiomatic, and, 
in reading over the work, I myself have noticed various mistakes, 
which the reader should rectify before reading the book, according to the 
direction given under the head of ^ Errata and Addenda' at the end of the 
book. Here and there, there is also a comma misplaced or wanting ; 
and another thing which is not quite elegant is this, that in the first five 
chapters, numbers are expressed by figures, as is the case in the original } 
but from Chap. ii. of Part ii. to the end they are, with the exception of 
very long ones, written in words. 

My best thanks are due to the Rev. C. E. Kennet, Secretary to the 
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and Superintendent of its 
Press in Madras, for having, very forbearingly, allowed me to efiect im* 
provements while the work was being carried through the Press, as well 
as for having kindly looked over the final proofs, making here and 
there some slight amendments. 

This English version of Ziegenbalg's Genealogy of the South-Indian 
Oods with its various additions is, in the first place, intended for Mission- 
aries labouring in Southern India, whom it will enable to form a correct 
idea of the various systems of religion which they have to combat in 
spreading the Truth as it is in Jesus ; and, in the second place, for all who 
are interested in the millions of heathens inhabiting this vast country ; 
and, in the third place, also for educated Hindus, whom it may help to 
perceive, that neither their Vedas which enjoin the worship of the Powers 
of Nature, nor their Puranas which recommend the adoration of various 
imaginary, unholy rival divinities, nor their Sastras or philosophical sys- 
tems which confound God and the world, can be of Grod ; for they do not 
reveal Him unto us as the absolute, perfect, holy, personal Being He must 
be and is according to the Bible, which, as a true Revelation of God, 
teaches us, in simple but dignified language, the great saving truth, 
that there is but one God, and He not an indefinite subjective idea, 
but an absolutely perfect, personal Being, the almighty and hoTy Creator 
und Kuler of the universe ; and one Mediator between God and men, 
the holy God-man Christ Jesus, in whom God reconciled the fallen and 
rebellious world unto Himself, and without whom no man can come to 
the Father. And that also this little work may, by its faithful exposure 
of the religious errors of the Hindus, be subservient to the spreading of 
the saving knowledge of the Truth, is the earnest prayer of the 

Chingleput, Madras District, \ TPAMQr athi? 

the 2Qth of September, 1868. / i tt ajm bL. A i UK. 


Hr, (Bimmns JPr^aw (0 tfy femon bjrston. 

*»^^^*^»^*^*^t^^^)^0^^0^0^ ^N^^^^^^^ 

When, about 150 years ago, this work was, for the first time, sent to 
Europe, it did not meet with a favourable reception. A. H. Franke, 
(the renowned founder of the Orphan Asylum and other Institutions at 
Halle, and Director of the Mission) wrote back to Tranquebar that the 
printing of the " Genealogy of the South-Indian Gods" was not to be 
thought of, inasmush as the Missionaries were sent out to extirpate hea* 
thenism, and not to spread heathenish non-sense in Europe. When now^ 
for the second time, the same work is sent home from India, and that 
as the first extensive specimen of German printing executed in India, 
this scruple is not likely to re-appear, but other prejudices will, no doubt,, 
oppose the favourable reception of the book. 

Our present century has seen the rise of a new science, Indology, 
which has been crowned with the greatest success ; and the works of cele* 
brated scholars, which in the first decennary were still thought to be 
classical, and not to be surpassed, lie now in the corner as worthless waste 
paper. But while Indology, as the research into Indian antiquity, deals 
with the past — Lassen's ** Indische Alterthumskunde", what is it but a 
summary of the researches into Indian antiquity — : Ziegenbalg ofiers to 
his successors in Missionary work a useful manual for the present ; [for 
Hinduism has not changed since Ziegenbalg's time] . No doubt, the in* 
quiry into the past helps us to understand the present ; but inasmuch as 
the writings investigated by European scholars, are Sanscrit, and as such 
referring more especially to Northern India, and as also the Mythologies 
that have appeared in English, refer chiefly to the North : a Mythology 
for Southern India was really wanted. 

It is true, the value of this South-Indian Mythology has not been raised 
by lying on the shelf for such a long time, but probably also not lowered. 
What makes the work particularly interesting is this, that it contain s 
m any l etters in which the most learned among the Tamil people gave an 
account oF thmr reiigion and daily ceremonies to the first Evangelical 
Missiojosftry on the continent of India, who was so well acquainted with 
tEeir literature, and that at a time when Western Christian views had 
not yet much influenced the thoughts of the Natives. 

No doubt, Ziegenbalg's reputation as a scholar (Grtlndler'ig name at 
the end of the preface is only a mark of collegial friendship) will be estab- 
lished by the publication of this work, which is so systematic and so free 

• Several lengthy passages of this preface have been omitted, more especially those 
concerning Dr. Germann's situation and the orthography of Indian terms, as being 
here out of place. (The Translator.) 


from all fantastic conjectures, that it might well have been printed with* 
out any additions. But against ray own inclination, I have thought it 
necessary to make such additions as I could, in order to render the work 
a complete manual of South-Indian Mythology. It is not my business 
to say how far I have succeeded ; I intended to be (which is indeed all 
I could be) merely an auxiliary ; my additions are by no means to be 
supposed to have original scientific value. At all events, Ziegenbalg's 
\vork is now printed ; and if the German Missionaries who labour in 
Southei'n India would, each one in his own field, record their observations, 
as I sincerely wish may be done : then mio:ht an other one (for I myself 
will readily retire, and give up my claims) digest the whole, and render 
the work more uniform and complete. 

The name of the venerable author secured an interest for the work 
in various directions. The Right Reverend Dr. GeU, Lord Bishop of 
Madras, by his kind encouragement in word and deed, strengthened 
my resolution to have the work printed ; and the Rev. Mr. Kennet, 
Secretary to the Christian Knowledge Society (the same Society which 
once aided Ziegenbalg so welt), managed to remove all hindrances to the 
printing. My honored patron, the Honorable Mr. Justice HoUoway, 
did also not refuse his sympathy. Dr. Kramer, Director at Halle, 
complied with my request [regarding the manuscript] most readily. Mr. 
J. Higginbotham, the enterprising publisher of Indian literature, sub- 
scribed to oO copies ; and probably all the Missionaries of the three Ger- 
man Missionary Societies working in South India subscribed to it, 
through the Rev. Messrs. Mylius of Naidupett, Graeter of Mangalore, 
and Hobush of Tranquebar, to whom, as well as to my kind friends the 
Rev. Messrs. Miller and Stevenson of the Madras Free Church of 
Scotland Mission, I am much obliged for the interest they have taken in 
the work. 

May the blessing of God rest on the great work of propagating the 
Gospel in India and on all faithful labourers in churches and schools, 
. near and dear to me, to whom I herewith bid farewell ! 

the m of'sTuXr, 1867. } ^- HERMANN. 


BtipixHt(l$ Ij^tifdci, 

Gentle Reader I 

As we have hitherto, from year to year, communicated to dear Europe 
various particulars concemiDg the nature of the Indian heathenism, we 
reflected also this year how we might do more, and rejoice our patrons and 
friends by some further news* To this end we arranged, in our leisure 
hours^ the chief facts regarding the gods of these heathens in a table, 
and enlarged them afterwards in accordance with their views, so that 
herewith a complete Genealogy of their gods is presented to the reader* 

The gods are herein described according to their origin, form, and 
nature ; according to their families ; according to their offices and deeds ; 
according to their appearances and dwelling places : at the same time 
there are mentioned in it a great many of their names and pagodas or 
temples, their attendants and devotees who are adored with them, and the 
books that have been written about them ; likewise also the festivals and 
fasts which are observed in their honour, arid the offerings which are 
made to them both within and without the pagodas. 

In order to work out this Genealogy the better, we have taken pains to 
get written information concerning the same, by opening a correspon-* 
dence with the learned among these heathens. We put to them many 
questions regarding their gods and the worship offered unto them ; and 
^ese questions they answered more or less circumstantially and carefully 
by letters, from which we have, in every chapter, inserted longer or 
shorter passages, in order to shew their own peculiar views and opinions 
in regard to their gods and religion, just as we have quoted many pas* 
sages from their books in the ** General Description of the South-Indian 
Heathenism,"* which was written two years ago, in order to exhibit 
their views in matters pertaining to theology and philosophy. 

Throughout this work, there occur many names and words in Tamil 
characters, which is perhaps inconvenient to the reader ; but as those 
names and words cannot be correctly written in Latin characters, we 
have written them in Tamil, more especially for the sake of those who 
may come with this book to the heathens here in India, and desire to 
inquire into details. 

At first we thought of shewing, in every chapter, what these heathens 
still possess of traditions out of the Word of God, and how various narra* 

* In apite of all our exeitions^ this treatise could not be found. (Dr. Germann.) 



tions and doctrines of the Bible have, through the subtilty of the 
devil, been perverted and distorted bj their poets. Bat as this can easily 
be done by others in Europe, we have refrained from doing so, and 
rather endeavoured to exhibit the facts themselves the more clearly and 
accurately, so that the reader himself can make such comparisons the 
more easily. 

The getting of the figures of the gods in their proper form was some- 
what difficult ; for European painters could not paint them, because they 
are not allowed to enter into the pagodas to behold them, and Tamil pain- 
ters refused to do so for three years, pretending it would be against their 
religion to paint their gods according to their appearance, and to give 
them over to Christians ; inasmuch as they knew well that we should 
not adore, but rather despise and ridicule them. We engaged in a cer- 
tain place a Brahman, a professional painter, but our design did not pros- 
per with him. At last, however, another offered his services himself, and 
promised to paint the figures of all the gods accurately according to their 
peculiar colours and shapes ; but he required us to keep the thing secret, 
lest it might endanger him among his countrymen, and more especially 
the Brahmans. This man, then, entered into the pagodas, and painted 
for us, in two months, all the figures we desired.^ The matter, however, 
became known, in consequence of which he had to suffer much. The 
chief Brahman here remonstrated with him and threatened him [probab- 
ly with excommunication] ; but he replied to him as follows : *M went 
twice into the pagoda, and asked the god to grant me and my family a 
sure livlihood ; whereupon the god said, * Go to the priests and paint for 
them myself and all that are with me in the pagoda, and thou shalt get 
enough for thyself and thy family.' Now, this I have done, and found 
true what the god told me in the pagoda." Upon this they left him at 
last alone ; but they are very much displeased, that the figures of their 
gods have come into the hands of such priests as combat their religion. 

As regards the title-page, we have tried to represent on it two things, 
viz. : first, the blindness and idolatry of these heathens ; and, secondly, 
the grace of God now granted unto them for their conversion. Their 
blindness and idolatry is represented by a pagoda full of idols, and some 
persons performing the rites of worship or a sacrifice before an idol under 
a tree, as well as by an assembly of Brahmans teaching : and this part is 
quite obscure and dark. On the other hand, the grace of God is repre- 
sented by the rising sun^ which throws his beams into the midst of the 
darkness, towards which also a fiying dove is represented as bringing the 
Gospel, and by a Christian teacher disputing with a Brahman in the 
presence of many hearers : and this part is quite illuminated by sun- 


* The copy with the beautifully painted pictures is still in the library of Franke'a 
Institutions at Halle ; their printing would not have been impossible here in India> but 
very expensive. (Dr. Germann.) 

f The Editor does not remember having seen this title-page, probably the descrip- 
tioQ is sufficient. (Dr. Germann.) 


Moreover, we would state that it was with reluctance, that we spent 
our time in the inquiry into their foolish heathenism, more especially be- 
cause there occur in it many indecent and offensive stories ; but inasmuch 
as no one before us ever did this thoroughly, and as we should like to 
work in preparation for our successors, we were content to do the work, 
thinking that herewith also a service is done to many in Europe ; where 
otherwise we should have regarded this our labour as a punishment and 
not as a pleasure. Wise people will not make an ill use of this our work of 
*^hay and stubble,'* nor be induced by it to do evil, but on the contrary 
learn from it how much more grace God has bestowed on them in spiritual 
matters, than on these heathens, and thereby be moved to have compas- 
sion on them, and, when opportunity offers, try, by every means in their 
power, to bring them out of their idolatry. 

Meanwhile, the clear exposure of this Indian heathenism may be re* 
garded as a sign that God, at' this time, intends to do some special thing 
for these heathens, and to visit them by granting them grace to be con- 
verted. He will thereby also try his Christian Europe to whom 
this is made known, if some will pity their condition, and think of means 
through which the Word of grace and all the means of salvation may be 
pffered unto them effectually for their conversion. 

Now, the Universal Saviour of the world, Christ Jesus, who has suf- 
fered and shed his holy blood for these blind heathens as well as for 
other nations in the world — may He dispel from this pagan country the 
heathenish darkness, and illuminate it with the light of his saving Gos- 
pel ! May He destroy and annihilate the false gods, whom they now 
still worship, and may He alone be adored by them as the King of glory ! 
May He give his blessing and power to the Word, which is now being 
preached among them both by word of mouth and by writings ! May 
He grant that by it many souls may be won and saved continually ; 
May He Himself gather from among them a peculiar people that serves 
Him in holiness and rightousness, and increases in number ! This is 
our desire in our daily prayer and supplication before the throne of God, 
and at this we aim in all our labour, trusting that the Lord whom we 
serve will hear our prayers and bless our labour. 

Herewith we remain, 

-nr 'xi • XL -c^ X T -N In prayer and love united with 

Written m the East In-^ 1 />. xi -d j 

dies, on the cosst of Core- I *^® ^®°*1® Reader, 

mandel, at Tranquebar, the f 

21st of August 1713. J 

Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg, 
JoHANN Ernst Grundler, M. A., 
Royal Dcmish Missionaries, 





A. The ujrirujroj^^ ParIbaravastu, i. e. the Supreme [or 
rather the Universal Being, which is considered to be : 
I. An immaterial, formless, and incomparable being, [i. e. the uni- 
versal spirit] ; which has neither beginning nor end ; from which 
all beings have emanated, and into which all will again return ; 
and which is all in all. 
11. A visible material being, [i. e. the universe], represented hj an 
image clothed with the fourteen worlds, and more especially by a 
figure named SjSitsui Linga, which, in a covert way, exhibits the 
genitals of both sexes, to indicate that in the Farabaravastu are 
u nited the Masculine and Feminine Principles o r Power s; and this 
figure is to be found everywhereTiotli within and wit&out the pa- 
godas, and worshipped most extensively. 
III. A double-being, viz. : 

1. ^Q/or Siva (growing, felicitous),* the embodied Masculine 
Power of the Paribaravastu, or the father of all gods and. all 
beings ; who is said to have five faces, called u^^an^^ir 
dsa Pancha Karttas, i. e. five gods or lords, named : iSffu>ir 
Brahma, ^^^pi Vishnu, ^Q^^fiffek Eudra, mCsdrcaaat MahSs- 
vara, and ^^ir&euar Sadasiva. f 

2. ^^f^ Sakti (power, energy), the embodied Female Power of 
the Pai^baravastu, or the mother of all gods and goddesses, 
and all beings ; who is also called una^^^ Parasakti, i. e. the 
supreme Sakti, because from her all Saktis or goddesses have 

• Only the Saivas, i e. the worshippers of Siva, call the Masculine Power of the 
Farabaravastu by the name of Siva ; the Vaishnavas^ i. e. the worshippers of Vish- 
nu, name it Vishnu, orNarayana> or Punish ottama. That Ziegenbalg too was aware 
of this, noay be seen from chapter iii in part i ; b ut inasm uch as Sivaism ^e- 
jomi nates in Southern In dia ijyo less than three-fourth of ~theTamiT~people being 
^SyaflTi^TJCBupISaTroreTh this work a more prominent position than Vlshnuism. 

t The Panchi Karttas are identical with the Trimurttis ; for RudrtjMahSs- 
va rai and Sadasiva are nothjp g bntdiffer ent names of Siva or Isvara. The "SSTvas, 
in order to make OUL that Siva ts~suprieme among the godsTcair them the five faces 
of Siva ; but, notwithBtanding this, the Vaishnavas assert that Vishnu is supreme. 





B. The Qpu^^Lpir^^seir Mummurttis (or ^i!^(Lpir^fSlseir Trimurt- 
Tis), i. e. the three [divine] forms, or the three great gods ; who are 
said to have orginated in the oQasculine power of the Parabaravastu, 
called Siva, and who include Siva. By some they are regarded as 
triune, but by the majority of the people only one of the three is con- 
sidered to be the Supreme Being.. They are, together with their 
families, as follows: 
I. ^srojjrear Isvara (lord), who is identical with Siva, and the object of 
worship in the Qqild^ld Siva-mata, i. e. the religion Qf^Silfl^-Kbose 
atdherentsfoEBa here in Southern India the majority. All who pro- 
fess this religion regard Isvara as the highest god, in whose honour 
they have every where bnilt pagodas, and celebrate many festivals. 
_ The y relate of h im 1 008 appearances, accprdingj;it35^ 
- iTWS names, ancFIilalfflost in eve^ jplace called by a different name.' 
""TlTe paradise where he resides is called cwaeb/rtf^iT'^ailasa. His 
principal attendants, who are always with him, and whose images 
stand in his pagodas by the side of his own image, are the following: 
1, «/l^<7«dFffl7i7«a^ Nandikgsvara, a form of Isvara ; 2, eatiSirojar Bhai- 
rava, an other form of Isvara ; 3, (j^ekci^ir^ff&r Kundodara, hid um- 
brella-bearer ; 4, gieannuneosit Dvarap9,lakas, two door-keepers ;' 5, 
j\g$u^ff^€iin Arupattumtlver, the sixty-three persons whom Isvara 
is said to have taken into bliss visibly in their bodies, and among 
whom ^«^(?i-6Fa/ir^ TandSsvara is Uie mos^t celebrated and best 

Isvara's family consists of the following members : 

1. His wives, two in number, viz. : 

a* uni-Qi^ Faarvati (the mountain-born), who is, by the Saivajsi^ iden- 
tified with the above-mentioned Sakti, anck worshipped in Isvara's 
pagodas under multifarious nam^s, and carried about wUh him at 
his festivals. 

6. si^€f><3t Ganga, tlie river Ganges, and then aUo the goddess of 
water, who is represented on paintings by the figure of a siren, half 
vToman and half fish; but her image is not to be found in any 
pagoda. She is honoured by the act of bathing with ceremonies. 
Ganga is said to have eight play-mates> which are likewise rivers, 
whose water is, like that of the Ganges, regarded as very holy and 
efficacious for purification from sins. Their names are: 1. lUQp^ 
Tamuna (Jumna) ; 2. ^jr^eufi Sarasvati ; 3. Qi^ Sinthu (Indus); 
4. /50Lofl»^ Nerbudda ; 5. (^airjsnea/fi GOdaveri ; 6. snQetS KS.?Sri \ 
7. uxdrQearjSl Mann^ry (?) ; 8. aareSiesis Kannya.| 

2. His Sons, two in number, viz. ; 

* There is, moreover, in front of the larger pagodas Isvara's vekicle, a bul, called 
Nandi, and in Canarese, Basava. 

t Usu^ly only seven most sacred rivers are enumerated, among which Ganga her- 
self is one, whilst the Indus and the doubtful MannSri are excluded. Frequently,, 
however, four more are added to the seven^ viz. : the Indus, Kriednna, TuDgabhadTa^ 
i^d Tamrabwui, a small riv^x in TuMMveUy. 


tt/c6«d(7/f#(Bririir Vighndavftra (lord or remoter of olbstoctoB), who, 
as the god oi wisdom, is represented with an elephant's head. 
The nM)st common of his names are, iSai9uAjirir Piilaiyar (the 
[illustrious] son) \ t&mniuaar Vinayaka (the great lord) ; semufi 
Ganapati (lord of hosts). In his honour many (small) pagodas 
have been erected, in which he is daily worshipped with offer- 
ings ; moreover, his image stands everywhere by the way-side, 
under trees, at thoroughfares, and in all the pagodas of Isvara; 
and he gets always the first offerings, because all that would^os- 
per should be begun in his name. ""■ ' "^ '** 

& *utffifLD6BBft(Lfeir SulbErainanya (the diamond-like), who has many 
large pagodas of his own, and is also, like Vighnesvara, found and 
worshipped in all the pagodas of Isvara. He has many names, 
and six faces, though he is very frequently representfed with one 
only. His two wives are eam^Sliuwmui Valliammai (jewel* matron ), 
and QfiGiajtrdsr DSvay&nai (divine elephant), both of whom are 
represented as natural women. 
II. tQt^f»§f Vishnu (the protector), the object of worship in the fi&«^ 
£SBtAz>;ffii> Vishnu-mata, i. e. the religion of Vishnu, the great rival 
of Siva. All who profess this religicm regard Vishnu as the high- 
est god, the creator, preserver, and saviour. He has many names 
and many pagodas, and almost in every one of them he is called 
by a different name. He is said to have undertaken ten ^eu/str 
eAs^ Avataras, i. e. incarnations, in the following order* : 1. 
m^^irafitrffih Matsya-avatara, in which he transformed himself 
into ^ fishy in order to fetch the V$das (the most sacred books of 
the Hindus) from the bottom of the sea, where a giant, who had 
stolen them from the world of the gods, had concealed them.f 

2. a^nu>iTaifiWffih Ktlrma-aTatSra, in which he assumed the form of 
a tortoise^ as which he support^ the mountain Mandara, in order 
to enable the gods to chum therewith the sea of milk, for the 
purpose of obtaining the beverage of immortality called Amrita. 

3. ^ffirsiraj^trffih Varaha-avatara, in which he transformed himself 
into a boarp in order to up-lift the earth, which was sunk into the 
ocean. 4. isffQeisirtu^irffUi Narasimha-avat3.ra, in which he assumed 
the form of a man with the head of a lion, and destroyed the 
mighty giant Hiranyakasipu. 5. eanu>^^^irffu> Vamana-avatara, 
in which he assumed the form of a dwarf- Brahman, who deceiv- 
ing the mighty monarch Mahabali, took the government of the 
world from him, and trod him down into hell. 6. ussrinruiirea^naih 
Parasurama-avatara, in which he became a man named Parasu- 
rama, whose parents were the Eishi (sage) Jamadagni and his wife 
B€nuka, who is said to be identical with the Gramadevata Ellam- 

• The order in which the Avataras are here enumerated is different from that of 
the Germwi Original, but it is the order in which they are generally enumerated. 

t Acooiding to other accounts, Vishnu towed, in the form of a fish, the vessel in 
which the seven Bishis and their wives were preserved in a general flood. 

4 ^ TABLE. 

men. Parasarama's mission was to humble the Elshatrias, i. e. the 
royal or warrior-caste, of whom he is said to have slain an enor- 
mous number. 7. §}ffffLDireufiiTjTu> Rama-ava^ra, in which he became 
king Dasaratha's first-born son, named Rama, who had three bro- 
thers, called gieoLL»u>€8Brek Lakshmana, uff^ar Bharata, and <f^j7 
0aaar Satrughna. liama's special mission was to destroy the 
gi&nt g)ffffQje88r<sar Ravana, king of Lanka (Ceylon), who had carried 
away Rama's wife 9tg>^ Sita ; and in his war with this giant he was 
greatly assisted by his brother Lakshmana and the monkey-king 
Hanuman. 8. Q(i^^^ea^ffffih Krishna-avatara, in which he was 
the son of Vasudeva, but brought up in the house of the shepherd 
Nanda. Krishna is said to have done many miracles, and more 
especially to have assisted his relatives the u^^unemL^eatr Pancha 
Pandavas, five royal brothers, named ^nuiar Dharma or Yudhish- 
thira, iSldot Bhima, ^(i^^s&rar Arjuna, /B(^eoeir Nakula, and ^sir 
Q^ea&r SahSLdgva, in their war with ^fftCtLnr/gea-eir Duryodhana, the 
head of the Kurus ; so that the Pandavas regained their kingdom, 
whilst Duryodhana and all his brothers were slain. 9. Qeu^^otir 
GifittjTUi Veguttva-avatara, i. e. plurarity-incarnation,* in which 
he was incarnate in his twelve disciples the so-called ueireSlff9ar(B 
^yfoittif Pannirandu Arhvar ; through whom he rooted out the 
religion of the Buddhists and Jainas, and established his own ; 
wherefore those twelve devotees are now adored with him in his 
pagodas. 10. ^a-QHTeu^aiiLD Asva (alias Kalki)-avatara, in which 
he will, at the end of the present age, transform himself into a 
horse, and, having destroyed all the wicked^ create a new order 
of things. 

The first, second, and third incarnations are said to have come 
off in the first great age of the world, QCff^ntLfsut Kretayuga ; the 
fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh, in the second great age, called 
fiCff^a^sui Tretayuga ; the eighth and ninth, in the third great 
age called gtoinuiriLfsui Dvaparayuga ; and the tenth incarnation 
shall take place in the present age called sfSufsu) Kaliyuga. 
Vishnu's family consists of the following members : 
1. His wives, two in number, viz. : 
a. gjeoiLs-iB Lakshmi, the goddess of beauty and fortune, who is, by 
the Vaishnavas, identified with the Feminine Power of the Para- 
baravastu. She is also called mssneoiLs-iB Maha-Lakshmi, i. e. 
the great Lakshmi, and said to contain the ^^i^eoiL^tB Ashta- 
Lakshmi, i. e. eight Lakshmis, viz. : 1, fiGsteoiL^iSl Dhana-Laksh- 
mi, the patroness of riches ; 2, ^irtSujeotL^L^ Dhany a -Lakshmi, 
the patroness of grain ; 3, ea^tBiueotLa-iB Dhairya-Lakshmi, the 
patroness of boldness ; 4, Q^arffiiueotLsriH Saurya- Lakshmi, the 
patroness of bravery ; 5, ^^^tuaeotL^iE VidyS^Lakshmi, the pa- 

• Now-a-days Balarama or Balabhadra. a foster-brother of Krishna, is considered 
to have been Vishnu's ninth incarnation, whereas formerly Buddha was regarded as 


J- ' • 

t_ ♦ " ■^» •v' **'*'*■ * - 1 ' 



troness of science ; 6, Si/gfiesiLsriS Elrtti-Laksbmi, the patroness 
of fame; 7, tBnfumil.s-t£i Vijaja-Lakshmi, the patroness of victory; 
8, Qffir^^tueitlsuB Bajya-Lakshmi, the goddess of kingdoms ; or 
^/s;girareou,6n£l Santana-Lakshmi, the patroness of offspring and 
marriage. Lakshmi is worshipped under various names in Vish- 
nu's pagodas ; and she is also adored in the pagodas of Isvara. 
At one time she disappeared, but rose then again in all her beauty 
from the sea of milk when it was churned by all the gods and 
Asuras (non-gods) ; and when Vishnu was incarnate in the per- 
son of R&ma, Lakshmi was in the world as Sita. 

To Lakshmi is opposed (tpC/gtQ Mtldevi (the elder goddess, 
Lakshmi*8 elder sister), the goddess of misfortune. 

b. y,i£i(:^fSi BhumidSvi, the goddess of the earth, who is, however, 
not worshipped, nor represented by an image. 
2. His sons, viz. : 

a. iLekLD^tk Manmatha (the confounder of the heart), or Kama, the 
Indian Cupid, the god of sensual love. He is said to b e thej aaen- 
tal son of Vishnu, a nd to have become incarnate in Fradyumna, 
the first-born son of Krishna (an incarnation of Vishnu), who is 
without a second as regards amours. Manmatha wounds the 
heart with his arrow called sauiuaessrui Kamabana (love-arrow). 
He has a wife named Sl^fi ^^ti (lust), who assists her husband 
in inspiring sensual love, and corresponds therefore to Venus. 

&. ^^at Kusa, and Qeo^ar Lava, Vishnu's, sons in his incarnation 
as Rama. 
III. iSjiLir Brahmi, t he creator, who is said to write in the 
skull of ever y one how long^ he or shejs^to l ive, and what will 
happe n to him or her on earthy and after d eathj He is also re- 
garded as the author of the sacred Vgdas, which he is said to have 
given to the Rishi Vsda-Vyasa, to promulgate them in the world. 
There are, however, no pagodas erected in his honour, nor is he 
worshipped, except under the form of the Brahmins, his offspriug 
par exce ltence. 

l5raEmi's wife, named ^ir»^fi Sarasvati^ is regar ded^as the 
goddess of learning . But also she is not worshipped, except at 
an annual festival l^alled s'ir»eo^^m^ Sarasvati-pUja^ i. e. Saras- 
vati-worship, when especially poets, accountants, teachers, and 
pupils offer unto her their writing instruments, books, and ac- 

C. The Gramadbvatas, and Malignant Beings. 

I. QffiruiC/BCJm^aar Gramadgvatas, i. e. tutelar d eitjes, (lit. village- 
deities); who are suppose<i to guard towns, villages, hamlets, fields, 
etc. from evil spirits, and who are worshipped in numerous little 
temples, in front of which there is a sacrificial altar, on which bloody 
sacrifices, consisting in cocks, goats, swine, and buffaloes, are made 
unto them. With one exception all the GnLmadSvatas, properly so 

I ^ t . ■'-'■•/ 





called, are females, and most of them caric atqres of Rrvati o r 
Sakti ; they are believed to be able to casif ouT^evilB when they 
take possession of men ; for the devils are subject to th^m . They 
are represented by horrible images ; and in their pagodas there 
are also other hideous figures, representing the chiefs among the 
demons as well as Vig hoes vara and certain fo rms of Si^ga . which 
are likewise worsbipped. Moreover, annual festivals, lasting 
seve'n, eight, or nine days, are celebrated in honour of every one of 
the Gr3,madevatas, whose names are as follows : 

1 . sBoj^ir Ayen ar, who is the only male among the Gi^madSvatas 
properly so called, and considered to be a mighty demon-king, 
and the product of Siv a's un ion with Vishnu in the female form 
Mohini ; wherefore he is also called Hari-Hara (Vishnu-Siva), 
lie has two wTvesJliamed ^3wr Pfiranai, and Lftla9» Pudkalai, 
who are worshipped together with him in his numerous pagodas. 

2. ereoeoiLear Ellammen, who is (in the traditions of Southern India) 
identified with R^nuka, the wife of the Rishi Jamadagni and the 
mothe r of Parasurama. 

3. LD(Trfliuu>LD&r Mariammen, who is the goddess of the small-pox, 
measles, and such like diseases. Near her pagodas stand little 
temples with various images, the principal one of which is that 
of str/i^irear Kattan, a very mighty demon likewise worshipped. 

4. ^BisirefTUiiLear Ankalammen, in who^ pagodas stand, besides her- 
self, several images, of which may be named ; 1^ tSjTu^fijear Vira- 
bhadra, who is said to have 1000 heads and 2000 arms, and to 
have been produced by Isvara for the purpose of destroying the 
great sacrifice of the mighty king Di^sha ; 2, QuiBaj^uiiSnner 
Feria Tambiran (the great god), who is said to be the great god 
whom Daksha intended to enthrone in the place of Isvara ; 3, 
shiLCl^iB Katteri, a very terrible demoness. 

5. u^^asitsU Bhadrakali, who has a fiery head and ten arms, and 
opposite to her stands a horrible figure, named ^Qairffui Aghora, 
a form of Isvara. 

6. iSi^iriB Pidari, one of the very fiercest. 

7. 'FffQpeevL^ Ghamundi, likewise very fierce. 

8. gaaasos Durga, a mighty heroine with a sheep's head. 

IL Malignant Beings, from whom the GrimadSvatas are to protect 

1. QuujsGr Peygel, i. e. demons, who were, according to the opinion 
of some people, created by God as such ; but according to that of 
others, they were ^origin ally good" creatures, and, only in conse- 
quence of their misdeeds, cursed to be devils, and banished from 
the realm of bliss into this world. Many of them are named 
after_particular sins which they are supposed to cause~lhman- 
Tmd, oT^whom they take also sometimes bodily possession. Jheir 
number is said to increase daily by the spirits of wicked men. 

// i . r 





2. ^mm&r Bhutas, anoiher sort of demonsi said to have been creat- 
ed for the purpoee of doing various menial services to the gods, 
and of tormenting the wicked. 

3. g^ffirC^/gir Bakshasas, i. e. mighty giants, with many heads, 
among whom Ravana was a great king. 

4. m9i0ffff Asuras, another kind of giants, who were nearly always at 
war with the D^vas or secondary gods, and troubled them some- 
times exceedingly. . 


X c;9o//f4«r Dgvas, L e. (seoondary) gods, who are said to be 330,000,000 
in number, and to inhabit the Q/s€i9edirstji Devaloka, also called 
m^ffdaih Sivarga, a place of sensual delights, and the abode of 
meritorious noortals, who become gods for a longer or shorter period, 
according to their merits* The DSvas have no pagodas erected in 
their honour, nor are they properly worshipped, but they receive 
some marks of reverence at the sacrifices made to the Trimtirttis 
uid their families, and they make a great figure in the Puranas, 
the secondary religiona books of the Hindus. , Of the Divas are to 
be mentioned : 

1. Q^Qeu/sfiirek- DSvSndra (or Indra), their king, whose audience- 
chamber is so large, that there is room in it for all the gods as well 
as for all the Rishis and attendants on the gods. 

2. §}tBfiirtr€i£ Indrani, the wife of Devendra. 

3. 9^^ir(^^^ar Chitragupta or Chitraputra, the recorder of the deity, 
who records the virtues and vices o f mankind, and calculates the 
time when their fives are to end, according to the destiny of each. 

II • S)(3e^s^ Rishis, i. e. sages, who are said to be 48,000 in.number, 
and to have obtained great gifts by practising austerities ; so that 
they are able to be wherever they please, and need neither food nor 
sleep. The most famous among them are the following : ^sm^tuat 

Agastya, isnfffiar Narada, Qaeir^mor Gautama, Qeu/seStuir^ar Vs- 
davyasa, LftArt-^sear Pundarlka, euneoiBQ Valmiki, oi^a^L^eir Vasishta, 
eS^euirtB^^ffelr Visvamitra, ffiir€atTf<sir Durvasas, (^fi€st Suta, stSeoek 
Kapila, saQudr Kasyapa, amrd^^^ear Markandeya. 
III. Musicians and other attendants on the gods ; viz. : QdnsririT Kinna- 
ras, musicians and singers ; having, with the human figure, the 
head of a horse ; Qu>Lf0ei^n Kimpurushas, another kind of celestial \ 

choristers ; smh^ireair Gandharbas, likewise a kind of choristers, re- \ 

presented with wings ; uekearsir Fannagas, celestial snake-charmers; \ 

Si^jsiir Siddhas, saints, enjoying the gift to be in a moment now here 
and then there ; eSl^^ufrjSjrir Yidyadharas, celestial scholars ; stgsr 
fsiTfiir Gananathas or ^^nssea Dutas, i. e. Messengers, divided into < 

three companies, viz. : Qea^^nsseir Siva-Dutas, i. e. Siva's messen- ' 

gers, whose business is to carry the souls of the devotees of Siva \ 

into his paradise Kailasa ; eS^^m^^js/rds&r Yishnu-Dutas, whose 
business is to carry the souls of the devotees of Vishnu into his 


paradise Yaikuntha; tutn^fsnimar Yama-DQtas, messengers of 
Tama, the god of death and king of hell, which is called kb^u^ 
Naraka, and also ajiDCeoiraih Tamaloka, and said to contain various 
places of torment, into which the Yama-Dtltas carry the soul's of 
the wicked. In the Devaloka there, are, moreover, also G/sea^nQstmr 
Dsvadasis, i. e. female servants of the gods or courtesans, who cor- 
respond to the DSvadasis or dancing girls in the temples. 
IV. jimf^L.fld(^uuredsir Ashtadik-p3.lakas, i. e. the regents of the eight 
cardinal points and protectors of the earth ; viz. : 1, Qiifiirar Indra, 
the king of the secondanr gods, regent of the east ; 2, ^dStS Agni, 
the god of fire, regent of the south-east ; 3, Qtumm Yama, the god 
of death and king of hell, regent of the south ; 4, ^(^fi Niruti, a 
giant, regent of the south-west ; 5, cv^Mvor Yamna, the god of the 
waters, regent of the west ; 6, cvirtt/ Y&ju, the god of the wind, re- 
gent of the north-east ; 7, (^Cuffor KuvSra, the god of riches, regent 
of the north ; 8, g^irarar Isana, a form of Isvara, regent of the 

These protectors of the earth are invoked on various occasions, 
but more especially at the beginning of a festivali when the burnt- 
offering called ^uiiii Homa is made. 


THE uiTfruj^(3ti)^ PARABARAVASTU, 

I. E. 


(by the translator.) • 

What is the Parabaravastu'l' of the Hindus ? According to the pre- 
ceding Table, it is a being which is both immaterial and material, mas- 
culine and feminine ; and according to Ziegenbalg's quotations from the 
best authors in the first chapter of this Genealogy, it is " the life of all 
creatures"; it is " the world"; it is " virtue and wisdom", " bodily sensa- 
tion and sound"; it is "all in all", or the one being in whom all other 
beings are contained. In other words, it is the Universe as consisting of 
spirit and matter ; of which the former, as the active or masculine princi- 
ple, pervades the latter, the passive or feminine principle, and forms thus 
the world, with an infinite variety of animate and inanimate beings ; 
whose form changes continually, whilst their essence remains always the 
same ; and this essence the Hindu philosophers call Parabaravastu, and 
suppose it to be the Supreme Being. But this all-pervading essence is 
very different from the true Supreme Being. The true Supreme Being 
is not the essence of all beings, but — as indicated by the word 
** supreme" — the first and highest, and the most excellent, of all beings. 
The Supreme Being is a personal being, an "i", conscious of himself and 
all his works : the Parabaravastu is an impersonal being, a mere Power^ 
a " That,*' which is not conscious of itself and its workings. The 
Supreme Being is the almighty Creator and moral Governor of the 

* In the Original there is a short introduction by Ziegenbalg, but as it contains 
nothing that is not also said in the sequel the Translator has substituted for it an 
introduction of his own, which is more especially intended for educated Natives. 

t unurOr Parabaran, with the masculine termination, is used by Christians for 
the true God; but our concern here is only with the Parabaravastu as conceived by 
the Hindus. 


universe, and as such distinct from it, though living and working in it i 
the Parabaravastu is not distinct from the universe, but one with it. The 
Supreme Being is the fulness of all conceivable and inconceivable moral 
excellencies : the Parabaravastu as an impersonal being, is void of all 
moral attributes.* - We do not deny that a spirit of life is pervading the 
whole universe, but we deny that this spirit or essence is the Supreme 
Being, and assert that it is only a breath of the Supreme Being, and as 
different from Him as the breath of man is from man. It is spirit, but 
not the Supreme Spirit ; and as an impersonal spirit it is even inferior to 
the individual spirit of man, which is a personal spirit, and as such con* 
scious of itself, and therefore of a higher order than the mundane spirit 
of life, or the essence of matter, the god of Pantheism, whieh the Hindus 
call Parabaravastu, and by means of which they try to defend their Poly- 
theism and gross idolatry, in the following manner : — 

You tell the Hindu that it is foolish " to think that the Gk)dhead is 
like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device" (Acts,, 
xvii, 29), and not only foolish, but also sinful, inasmuch as God, the 
Supreme Being, is thereby dishonoured ; but he replies : " Why, is the 
Supreme Being not every where, is he, or it, not also in the images we 
worship ? Surely he is ! and therefore it cannot be wrong to worship him 
under the form of images." You try to shew him that there is a differ- 
ence between being every where and being every thing, and thjsUjGody 
though He is every where, i£j^herejforejiot himself evertf thpig ; but, 
nevertheless, the Hindu asserts that all is divine, or part of God, or God 
himself, and that he may, therefore, worship images. 

You point out to him the fact that the Hindus are not agreed among 
themselves as to which of their gods should be regarded as supreme, and 
contend, that this is a proof that they do not know the true God, and stand 
therefore in need of a special Revelation ; but he replies : ** Though the 
Saivas say that Siva is supreme, and the Vaishnavas assert that Vishnu is 
supreme : the Supreme Being is one, and it matters nothing whether it 
is called Siva, or Vishnu, or Parabaravastu, or Parabrahma ; all these 
are only different names of one and the same being." 

You contend that Siva and Vishnu cannot be one and the same being, 
inasmuch as they are described in the Puranas as different beings, who 
even fight with each other for supremacy, and you assert that they can 
in no wise be the Supreme Being, who is, as they themselves allow, pure j 
whereas Siva and Vishnu are said to have performed many a sinful 
action ; but the Hindu replies : " TJji^ugh we w orship) many gods, and 
jyjve to them d^ff e yg nt flfty^ftaj and relate dTlh^m'difiefentslories : ^ 
believe nevertheje^sg that there is but one^Divine Being, of which all the 
gods and all creatures are nothing But various maiiitestations, and all 

♦ It is true, the Hindu philosophers talk also of a personal creator and governor 

of the world ; this, however is not the Parabaravastu, but only the first of those 

beings which make up the Parabaravastu ; and moreover, this so-called creator is 

, ^ / ' not considered to be a real crefttox;^.but only an architect, inasmuch as, accordingjo- 

Hindu philosophy, matter is co-eternal with spiritT"**^-^— ^" '" ^""""^ 

■■"-I z. . 


''■^ - .);r-%. [-1 -I'- ■ 


that is done by Uie different, beings in the world is nothing hj^^^poH 
oLthe one Divipe Being whir ti jfl in fihym a^ " 

In this or a similar manner, the Hindus m ake Pantheism, with its dim 
abstractions and meaningless platitudes, t he cifad el i nto which they 
w ithdraw w hen their Pantheon is attacked^ and thelnJw ork from wKich 
i hej def end ^elr'^^ss idolatiy, and all the wicked deeds related of|it8 their own_eyjl propensiti^.pnd sinful 
actions ; and thus their very notion of the Parabaravastu, mjananied the 

^"CyfT^fi F**^"gi ^"ryg^t tn t) e tbe greatest obstacle in the way of their 
receiving the saving (jospel, which reveal^ llHtO U5 the true and living 
God and the way to him« through his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, 
our Saviour. 

Panthebm, illusive and specious as it is, has many a charm for man 
such as he is by nature. It seems to explain every thing simply and 
satisfactorily, and it does away with'indTvlduat reBpongibiKty. " But does 
it really explain every thing satisfactorily 7 And can it ever satisfy the 
nobler aspirations of mankind ? Let us examin,e it just for a moment. 

The Pantheist asserts, that both spirit and matter are eternal, and that 
they, in their union, have produced the world ana an tnai is iherem. An 
impersonai s pirit^ th at is not conscjous of itself, that wodji^ blindly^^shall, 
by its union with eternal matter^ have produced a world full of design, 
with personal being s in ft, who are conscious of tliemsejyes and all 
ground them ! vViien^the^antheist can prove~"thafthe stream can rise 
higher than its fountain, or that a natural power, such as steam, can proo> 
duce an intelligent being : then, and not till then, has he a right to assert 
that an impersonal spirit has produced man, who is a personal being, 
conscious of himself and all around him. 

The Pantheist asserts that it is one and the same spirit that dwells in 
you and in me and in all beings, and that this one spirit prompts us to 
do all we do, so that our actions are strictly speaking not our doing, and 
that there exists therefore also no essential difference between good and 
evil. But whence then is that mysterious judge in the bosom of every 
man not yet altogether obdurated — I mean the conscience — that con* 
demns us when we do evil, and makes us feel happy when we do good ? 

The Pantheist asserts that we ourselves are as it were parts of the 
one Divine Being. But whence then is the instinct to worship some 
being or other, which is thought to be superior to mankind, and able to 
hear and answer prayers ? which instinct is also in the Hindus stronger 
than their pantheistic notions ; for even the stanchest advocates of Pan- 
theism worship the gods of the country and make offerings to their 
images ; * and what the Apostle Paul says of the heathens in his time 

* Ho^rever, among those who have read the Bible> there are> besides converts to 
Christianity, such as have left " the jungly marshes of Polytheism, and the airy, 
unsubstantial phantasms of Pantheism, and attained to an intelligent belief in one 
God, and that one God no longer an impersonal essence, but an actual personality, in- 
vested with all divine attributes and perfections, as well as the re warder of all them 
who deligently seek him" j but also of them comparatively few only are, like the 

/ / . . / -' -■ ' . . / .' 

, ft , f 


r f t 



is also literally true of the Hindus of the present day : — '* Though they 
knew God (or at least might have known him to some extent) from the 
works of creation ; they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; 
but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darken- 
ed ; professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed 
the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible 
man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things ;**** 
and perverted the truth of Gk)d into a lie, and worshipped and served 
the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.** 
(Etom, i. 20 — 25). But though we may know something of God by con- 
templating the works of creation, and by studying our own nature in 
particular ; and though the Hindus have speculated on God more than 
any other nation : the fact is, that they have, with all their speculations, only 
verified another word of the Apostle Paul, viz. : ** The world by wisdom 
knew not God" (i. Cor. i. 21). To know God as we ought to know 
him, we need a special Revelation of God ; and such a Revelation we 
have in the Christian Scriptures. The Bible does not solve all the problems 
that human curiosity would like to have solved ; but regarding God and 
our relation to him, it tells us quite enough for this our present state of 
existence. It does not contain philosophical treatises about the nature 
of God : it teaches us what God is by relating His .marydftttS.^woxks and 
HTsT^ealings with mankln^j"and more especially with the chosen people 
of the Jews. And this is the royal way in which we poor, finite crea- 
tures, whose understanding is darkened by sin, can learn something of 
the nature of our infinite, incomprehensible Creator, and the relation in 
which we stand to him ; and every one who reads the Bible carefully, 
and without prejudice, must confess, that it solves all the great problems 
regarding the origin and present condition of the world, and our relation 
to the great Author of our being, much more satisfactorily, than any sys- 
tem of human philosophy ; and that it teaches us a code of moral laws 
far superior to any other code. 

For instance, is it not true that the teaching of the Bible, according to 
which the world, with rational creatures in it, was created by an 
eternal, almighty, all-wise, personal Being is much more rational than 
the assumption of Pantheism, that matter is eternal, and mankind the 
product of the union of an impersonal spirit, a mere power, with eternal 
matter ? Or what can and does human reason tell us regarding the 
origin of sin, aud the manner in which we can get rid of it? Nothing 
satisfactory ! It may suggest that there are two eternal principles, one 
good and the other evil, and that these have been fighting with each other 

party of progress of the Calcutta Brahma-Samage, with Babu Eeshab Chandra Sen as 
their leader, " for acting out their anti-polytheistic, anti-idolatrous convictions, and 
relieving themselves from the degrading and anti-social trammels of caste, as well as 
from many of the barbarisms of conventional and superstitious usage." And while 
we cannot but deeply deplore the want of moral courage in the majority of those pure 
Theists, we must heartily wish that also the party of progress may not stop half way, 
but rise to " the sunshiny eminences of Revelation." 


from all eternity : but such a supposition amounts to saying that God is 
not the Supreme Being. Or it may assume that God is the author of 
both good and evil : but then again God is not God, not the Good one 
par excellence. Or it may say that there is no essential difference be- 
tween good and evil : but this is not only an insult to our conscience and 
common sense, but perverting moral order in the world. How much 
more satisfactory and resonable is the teaching of the, Bible, that sin ori- 
ginated in creatures, who were created good, but could only become 
established in goodness, and perfect in the full sense of the word, by the 
exercise of their own free will, by deciding once for all in love to obey 
their good and loving Maker ; who, however, would not obey him, but 
abused God's choicest gift, their free will, and became therefore evil and 
subject to all kinds of misery ; out of which they could not have saved 
themselvlBs in eternity. But God, though he could not, as the righteous 
Judge of the world, allow his law to be broken without inflicting 
punishment on the offenders of his Divine Majesty, yet so loved the 
world that He gave his only-begotten Son, that he might be the propiti- 
ation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole 
world ; and that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have 
everlasting life (John iii, 16; i. John ii. 2). What syatem of philosophy 
can so satisfactorily explain the origin of sins and the misery to which 
we are subject ? And what scheme does or can thus harmonize God's 
justice and mercy, God's hatred of sin and love to the sinnei ? 

But says some one, what can be more irrational than the doctrine of 
the Bible that God has a Son, who is said to be co-eternal with God, the 
Father, and that there is, moreover, a Holy Ghost as the third Person in 
the one Godhead; how can three be one, and one three ? — In arithmetic, 
three is not one, and one is not three ; but in life, three may be one, and 
one three, that is to say, three constituent parts may make one whole, or 
three members one organism, as, for instance, body, soul, and spirit make 
but one being, man ; and their union is so mysterious, that not even the 
most clever physician can give us a satisfactory explanation of it, but, 
for all that, the union of those three parts is an accomplished fact. In 
the same manner, and much more so, it is impossible for us finite crea- 
tures to comprehend the nature of the Infinite One, the mystery of the 
holy Trinity ; but we believe the Bible that God is triune, that Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost are three Persons in the one Godhead, and believe, 
moreover, that God is only as triune the absolutely perfect Being he is. 

God, the Supreme Being, is, and must be, all-sufficient in himself ; 
he does not need an object besides himself to make him happy or to sup- 
plement him. But how can God be conscious of himself, as an " I," with- 
out an object, a ** Thou"; and how can he exercise love, which is the 
essence of his nature (i. John iv. 16) without an object of love ? The 
world cannot be the object by which God becomes conscious of himself ; 
for it is not eternal, but God is the Perfect One from eternity, and there- 
fore also conscious of himself from eternity, and as it is not eternal^ it can 
also not be the object of God*s love from eternity ; nor can it, as finite, 


•ever fa% satisfy tbe Infinite. But what then or who is that object ? It 
is God of God, the Eternal Word (John i, 1—3), the Only-begotten of 
the Father, who in the days of his flesh addressed his Father thus : 
-** Thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world" {John xvii, 24), 
But two persons can only then love each other with a perfect love when 
their love meets in an object which both love equally ; and therefore the 
perfect God of love is not without a Third Person, the Holy Ghost. 
Fftther, Son, and Holy Ghost are Three perfect Members of one perfect 
Organism, or One God and Three Persons of whom Each partakes in 
like manner of all perfections in the one Divine Nature.* Thus, as the 
Triune only, God is the absolutely Perfect One, who does not stand in 
Deed of the world, but has nevertheless created a world, and lives in it, 
and loves it with an infinite love ; for he is the fulness of life and k>ve.-« 

How very different is the Holy Trinity from the unholy Indian Triad, 
and how infinitely superior is the Triune God to the Parabaravastu of the 
Hindu philosopher, even as a subject of speculation I Bui God is not to 
much a subject of speculation^ as He is an ^' Object of Faith and lomng 
Obedience''^ s whereas tlie Parabaravastu of the Hindus is only a subject of 
epeculation, as is so well said in one of the '' Tracts for Thoughtful Hindus,'* 
entitled : '^ God ; the object of Christian Faith, the subject of Hindu 
Speculation" ;t from which I quote the following passages as expressing 
all I wish still to say, most beautifully: — '* The practical result of all the 
speculations of Hindu philosophers regarding God is to divest Him of a 
personal existence and a moral character, and to render the idea of a 
Supreme Being only a subject of speculation, God is a subjective 
thought ; He is an idea, the mere creature of man's mind. Hinduism 
offers no resting place for the human soul in its reachings after tkuObject^ 
which can alone fill the void felt within, and satisfy its longings for a 
truer bliss than is to be found on earth. The fertility of thought, or the 
ingenuity of speculation, may beget ever varying and shifting theories of 
God, but one and all, they want a basis of reality. God is at the best 
the substantial co-identity of man, or man himself is resolvable into 

Moreover, as regards our relation to God, the writer of the tract says : 
— " The Pantheism of the Vedantic school effectually excludes all moral 
distinctions, by resolving the visible world and all its parts into the 
shadowy embodiment of Brahma's thought. Personal responsibility of 
any kind attaches to no being, for actions are unreal and the whole scene 
of life is but a deceptive pageant. All human struggles and experi- 
ences have no eye watching them, for they are the sportive fantanstic 
exhibition of the all-pervading spirit. There is no throne of Judgment 
in the highest heaven, for Deity itself has descended to assume the 

* For the more perfect an organism is the more distinct are the members from 
-each other, and yet perfectly one. Compare, for instance, the body of man with that 
of a worm. 

f Published by the Madras Diocesan Committee of the Society for Promoting 
•Christian Knowledge, and to be had at their Depository, Vepery, Madras, 


garb of earth's false show, and what seems to be, will end in a total and 
utter inanity. The question of moral actions and moral government, can 
find no place, therefore, in this dreamy philosophy. Nor do the other 
systems which stand opposed to V6d9,ntism find occasion to be engaged 
with this question."* 

** Whilst the deifying of separate powers of Nature, issuing in Poly- 
theism, or of Nature itself as a whole, which is Pantheism, may lead ta 
worship of a ceremonial character, or to aspirations of a purely intellectual 
description, which we find practically developed in the two prevalent forms^ 
of Hinduism, there is nothing in either case which brings the Deity be- 
fore the worshipper independently of the worshipper's own act or contem- 
plation ; but in the volume of the Scriptures, God speaks to man, in the 
first place, teaching, commanding, promising or threatening him as his 
Creator, Father, and Judge ; and all worship or service, which is ren- 
dered to Him by man, is the result of a knowledge of the relations which 
have been revealed to him as existing between them. Hence it is that 
the objective character of the Scriptural teaching regarding God, stands 
in striking contrast with that of all other religious teaching on this mo- 
mentous topic, and establishes its claims to superiority over every other, 
as being that which alone meets the real want of the human soul in res- 
pect to its Maker, by presenting Him as an Object for its faith and 
love, who is supremely entitled to both, who is infinitely above Hia^ 
creatures, " glorious in holiness," " that hath His dwelling so high, and 
yet humbleth Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and earth.'^ 
And here comes in the fuller manifestation of Himself in that Person 
who is revealed as '* begotten" of Him and as partaking of our nature for 
our sake, which imparts to the idea of €rod^ an objective character and a 
personality of Being in close and most real connection with ourselves, 
and raises Christianity itself from being a philosophy to a religion.^ 

** The Scriptures in their fulness offer more than a standard of moral 
rectitude as exhibited in the Divine character ; they reveal Divine wis-^ 
dom and goodness itself as united to man's nature, and give an example 
of life to man, full of the assurance of the nearest and truest Divine 
sympathy in all his personal conflicts and trials. God in the person of 
His Eternal Son, who ** is the brightness of His Glory and the express 
image of His Person," cornea near to us, and becomes visibly manifested 
to us, being **made flesh," as man among men. We look upon God and 
love Him, in our faith and love of His Incarnate Word. The concise 
but touching memorials of the earthly life of the Grod-man, present a 

* The Hindu Pantheist, however, does, very inconsistently, not believe that his 
individual spirit will, in death, forthwith he absorbed into the universal spiritj but 
has the notion that, owing to his performance of works good and evil, his soul will he 
subject to the misery of transmigration, till he obtains to " right apprehension '^ i. e- 
till he is fully persuaded that he is one with the all-4)ervading spirit ; and the prac- 
tice of sacrifices, pilgrimages, au8teritie8> and the like, is regarded as preparatory ta 
the attainment of " right apprehension." An outline of the principal philosophical 
systems and the doctrine of the transmigration of the soul will he found in the Ap^ 
pendix to Part ii. 


character of such beauty and goodness — of such simplicity and Divine 
power, that it has wrought a wonder-work of grace in the soul of humani- 
ty, and has shed on millions of our fallen race a calming, elevating influ- 
ence, such as none other has ever done. It is the majestic expression of 
the sanctities of the Divine Nature in the actual life of man, and as such 
has exerted and will exert an attractive power in awing and winning 
the best affections of the heart towards One who, whilst " touched with 
the feeling of our infirmities," was ** yet without sin," and proved in the 
amazing sacrifice of His Death the truth of His own words of tenderest 
compassion — " Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down 
his life for his friends." In the mystery of the union of the two Natures 
in one person, both sides of the question which produced the intellectual 
embarrassment of the Hindu philosophers meet and are harmonized,* for 
while the Divine nature remains impassible, not subject in itself to the * 
emotions of anxiety or grief, the human soul united in the sacred hu- 
manity of Christ with His personal Godhead made him " a man of sor- 
rows and acquainted with grief." The unveiling of His love ** whose 
delights were with the sons of men" opened a view into the purposes of 
mercy in the will of God, Who *' so loved the world that He gave His 
only begotton son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, 
but have everlasting life." And in this work of salvation was made mani- 
fest to the puzzled eye of human reason, the consistency of the highest 
perfection of the Creator with the deepest sympathy for His creatures, 
for Divine justice was revealed in the Cross as one with Divine mercy, 
and the wrath of God against sin as the necessary complement of His 
love to the sinner. His own blessed nature being the while unchanged 
and changeless. It was in the contemplation of this glorious vision that 
one, who had passed through similar difficulties as those which beset the 
Hindu mind, was led to exclaim — '^ Most high, most good, most po- 
tent, most omnipotent ; most merciful, yet most just; most hidden, yet 
most present ; unchangeable, yet all -changing; ever- working, ever at 
rest ; still gathering, yet nothing lacking ; supporting, filling, and over- 
spreading ; creating, nourishing, and maturing : seeking, yet having all 
things. Thou lovest without passion ; art jealous without anxiety ; re- 
pentest, yet grievest not ; art angry, yet serene ; changest Thy works, 
yrithout changing Thy purposes ; receivest again what Thou findest, yet 
didst never lose ; never in need, yet rejoicing in gains ; never covetous, 
yet exacting usury. And what have I now said, my God, my life, my 
holy joy ? or what saith any man when he speaks of Thee ? Yet woe to 
him that speaketh not, since mute are even the most eloquent." — [S. 
Augustine's Confessions, Bk. i. c. 4.] 

• The question : " How can God feel sympathy with His creatures, and yet re- 
main the Eternal One who change th not ?" 


Pardbaravastu as immaterial, formless, and incomparable. 

When these heathens speak of the highest Divine Being, as altogether 
spiritual and immaterial, then they talk quite reasonably. They take 
for unquestionable truth all that we Christians believe of God's nature 
and attributes, saying that there is but one God, who is purely spiritual, 
incomprehensible, eternal, almighty, omniscient, all-wise, holy, true, 
just, gracious, and merciful ; who creates, upholds, and governs all ; 
who has pleasure in dwelling with mankind and in making them happy, 
both in this world and in the world to come ; wherefore to serve him is 
happiness. The names they give to this Divine Being, are altogether 
expressive of divine attributes, e. g. ^/tceua-oia&r Sarvesvara, the lord 
over all ; Sl^^ajirearis^ea' Nityananda, the eternally blissful one ; 
^fiiBirtUAir Adinayaka, the very first lord ; ^neuCeona^iuirufftsr Sarvalo- 
kadayabara, lover of all the world ; ^neuntLs^afr Sarvarakshaka, saviour 
of all ; sifflfiff Kartta, doer, maker, lord ; and many hundreds of similar 
names are to be found both in their books and in their ordinary language. 
But because this Being is quite incomprehensible, and cannot be re- 
presented by an image, he is no where aidored in their pagodas, far less 
worshipped in spirit and in truth. Also in their books are but few 
traces of this immaterial Divine Being and his service ; for the know- 
ledge of him has been well nigh, if not wholly, extinguished, is conse- 
quence of the worship of the many idols and the multitude of their 
confuse ceremonial laws; and all those names which by right belong only 
to the Divine Being have in the long run been given to all their gods^ 
so that their divine service consists now in nothing but outward adora- 
tions of the multifarious images of their gods. 

When we ojace asked one of these heathens by letter : ** Why do you 
not worship the one Divine Being as Spirit, but instead of him mul- 
tifarious images of the gods both in your pagodas and at home ?" — 
he answered us as follows : " The Lord — by which word he means the 
Supreme Being — cannot be compared with any thing, wherefore we 
cannot conceive any definite idea of this Lord, nor realize him by our 
imagination ; whereas in our religious books it is written how Brahma, 
Vishnu, and Rudra, and also the other gods, are shaped. And inasmuch 
as God has shewed us in his law, what gods we should worship, and how 
we should worship them, also what reward he will give us for it : we 



do according to this his command, and worship those gods under the 
form of images. 

Another one replied to the question : *^ What is the highest God, or 
the Being of beings ?" as follows : " The highest God, or the Being of 
beings, has a shape, and has also no shape. He cannot be compared 
with anj thing ; nor can he be described, or said to be this or that. 
He is neither man nor woman, neither heaven nor earth, neither a man 
nor any other creature. He is all, and jet he cannot be compared with 
any thing. This God is not subject to corruption or death. He needs 
no rest nor sleep. He is almighty and omnipresent. He is without 
beginning, and remains imperishable throughout eternity. His shape 
can neither be seen, nor described, nor expressed.'' 

When one of these heathens embraced our Christian religion, his 
father wrote to him t *' Tou do not yet know all the mysteries of our 
religion, for we do not worship many gods in such an absurd manner as 
you think, but, in worshipping them all, we worship but one Divine 
Being. There are wise men among us ; if you would but speak with 
them, they would explain all to you and remove your doubts. He who 
understands our religion aright, can be saved through it, seeing that we 
know of many to whom God has given salvation visibly.'' 

Here and there, there are still to be found a few who have done with 
idol-worship, and worship the one Divine Being without an image. Such 
are especially the so-called f^ir^SUfet Gnanis, i. e. the wise, who have 
also written books that recommend nothing but a virtuous life, and the 
ifforship of the one God. Among such books the pdncipal ones are : 

1. &Qt€BirdQajLo Sivavakya, (i. e. Siva's word), in which, in poetical Ian* 
guage, the many gods and idols, with many- other heathenish errors, are 
altogether rejected, while the worship of the one God is recommended :* 

2. ^p&r Kural, or (after its author) fi^euar^otir Tiruvalluver, which 
treats of morals only. 3. i^^iraih Nitisara (essence of righteousness 
or polity, originally written in Sanscrit), in which moral precepts are 
jgiven in parables. 4. ^frearOeumu/r Gnanavenp^ (from ^irtBrih wisdom, 
and Qotekru/r a very common metre), in which wise sayings and proofs 
of the one God are contained. 

From these and other books of this kind we could quote many beau- 
tiful passages concerning the one Divine Being, but we will here insert 
only those which we have already, two years ago, quoted in the 3d 
chapter of the 1st part of the treatise about '< South-Indian Heathen- 

• The author of Sivavfikja belonged to the Saiva sect of the Siddbas (Gfi/ti as- 
cetics and adepts, who haye attained to the highest state of wisdom in Sivaism). 
7hese having been under Mohamedan as well as Christian influence, taught a 
pure theism, retaining the name of Siva. Many of them were addicted to alchemy. 
Their writings, though ascribed to ancient celebrated teachers, betray their modem 
origin through their style. (Compare QrauFs Indische Smnpfianzen p. 181 etc). 
Accordmg to the legend, Sivavakyer (so called after his book) became aVaishnava, 
and even a Christian at the time of the Apostle Thomas !— but not being satisfied, 
he returned to Siraism. The Siyay&kya contains 23 pages in 18 mo. 


ism," vis. : *^ SiTATidcyer, so called after his book, says of this Beings 
*^ that it is the one €k)d, who is eternal, omnipresent, infinite, the be- 
** ginning and the end, yea all in all Thus, in v. 79 : '* There is none 
^ bat One : this One is the Lord over all. He is eternal, and will be the 
** eternal One." Again (v. 121), " O God, before I knew thee, I went 
^* astray ; but since I have come to know thee, and been awakened, it is 
^ ihoci only whom I desire and none else." Concerning his etemi^ he 
** writes in v. 122 & 123 thus : '^ Which is that being which has been 
** from eternity ? Is it the 61 syllables (in which these heathens seek 
** many mysteries of their religion) ?* Or is it the soul, or is it the 
^< many gods, or the 5 elements (fire, water, earth, air, ether) ? or is it 
*^ the life-circle ?t or is it the Vedas, or the Shastras ? or is it the holy 
^ priest who is by and in all these? Lo, it is neither the 51 syllables, nor 
** the soul, nor the many gods, nor the 6 elements, nor the life-circle, 
'' nor the V€das or the Shastras : it is that holy priest who is by and in 
** all these." Again, in the very first verse of his book he says : " O 
** GU)d, who art the beginning and the end, the seed of all as well as 
** sound, and the 5 characters (which are impressed on the 6 element 
** in the body) T 

** Hie author of the Gntnavenf^ writes (v. 5.) of God's omni- 
** presence thus : " There is one who is present everywhere in the 
** world ; htm thou shalt love." Another, the author of the uffu>as 
^ 9aju>iTd» Paramarahasyam&la (sublime mystery-garland) writes (v. 
** 42.) of the same as fc^ows : *' O God, who art the body, the life, Uie 
** understanding, the heaven and the earth, and art everywhere in 
^ the whole world one and manifold : as thy glory Is thus, who in the 
** wwld can know thee?" Again, (v. 61.) of his omnipotence : " O 
^^ God, when thou movest, then move also the great heavenly bodies, 
<* the eurth, the 5 elements, and the 8 comers of the world. Who 
** can comprehend this wonder ?" Another, the aul^or of the cv^u 
*< ufisfy writes (v. 1 & 2.) of God's providence as follows : " O thou 
*^* most high Being, who art the- L(N*d of heaven and earth, I cannot 
^ compass thee in my heart ! O thou S3ng of heaven, whom shall I tell 
*^ my misery ? If thou, who rulest and preservest me, forsake me, 
^'then can I no longer live in this world. O, call me to thee that 
<< I may come to thee ! O God, thou art everywhere in the world, 
^ and art the life of all creatures." 

'' Regarding his infinity the author of the Sivav&kya says (v. 7^) : 
** GrtA is an infinite ocean, of which no end can be seen. He who will 
** see and know him, must calm the unruly waves in himself, mnst be- 

• By tiie i> 1 syHahlei we are to understand the eharacteri of the Sanserlt Alpha- 
bet* which are however dififereatLy counted. Some comat &0 only, and add then the 
aign for the mjstic Syllable Oxn. 

t Circles (Chakras) are thin metal plates with manifold signs ; they are of con- 
aideraUeimportaooe at the service of the gods and by enchan t m e a t s. 


" come altogether quiet, and direct all his senses and desires to one 
« object." Regarding his unspeakable glory the same says (v. 135) : 
" He is the real One, who is everywhere, and pervades all like the 
*^ light of the sun. But mankind will not know him ; they all wallow 
*^ in the mire of sin. I have come to know him, but I find nothing ia 
'^ the world with which I can compare his glory, and the happiness 
" which I enjoy with him, nor do I see any body who believes my 
" words." Again, in the II Part v. 5, he writes : ** The Supreme Being 
'^ is neither a flower, nor the smell thereof, nor that which he is thought 
'^ to be. He is neither great nor small. He is neither a voice which 
<< speaks, nor a being shut out or shut in. He has no form, nor is 
*' he in any single thing only. He is an incomprehensible being." 
" Again, in v. 25 he conceives God to be all in all, saying : ^^ O God^ 
<< thou art virtue itself ; thou art heaven itself. Thou art the world <; 
<< thou art the wisdom which is with all. Thou art the object oi 
<< longing to those who seek thee ; thou art bodily sensation and rest ; 
<< yea, thou art the light which penetrates my heart 1 Thy glory I shall 
** never forget." 

The (anonymous) author of Gnanavenpa acknowledges that besides 
'^ this highest good nothing is to be found which can satisfy the soul, 
*^ And therefore he exhorts every one to seek thiS) saying (v. 9) : 
" Whether you seek without you or within you, you find nothing; there- 
" fore seek the one true Being." And Sivavakyer says in the 2d part 
" V. 34 : ** The tortoise which lives in the sea lays her eggs on the 
** shore, and buries them in the sand, and goes then far into the sea. 
'^ But because she has her eggs always in her mind as it were by a rope, 
" the young ones follow her traces, as soon as they crawl out of the 
<< eggs, till they come to her. In like manner, God has placed us in 
<< this world, but he is above in heaven. However, he has us always in 
'* his mind as it were by a rope ; and if we follow his traces, we find 
" him. " The same author ascribes great power to faith in God, saying 
^^ in the 2d part v. 1 : << There is an omnipresent, most high Being ; if 
** you believe in this, you will be able to rule your body, the world and 
** heaven." Again, regarding union with God he says (I. p. v. 26 & 27) : 
<< When thou createdst me, thou knewest me : but I came to know thee 
" only when I got understanding. Whereever I sit, walk, or stand, 
" I shall never forget thee. Thou art become mine, and I am thine. 
" I have seen with my eyes, and perceived with my heart, that thou, 
*^ O God, art come to me as lightning comes from heaven." Again, 
" (v. 34) " The far spreading banian tree is wholly concealed in a little 
" seed : in like manner, ye O men, are enclosed in the generative power 
'< (Linga !) ; but none of you understands this aright. Contemplate 
" yourselves, and you will find that the Most high is in you." Again, 
" (v 75) " If thou wilt direct thy heart in the right way, and therewith 
" worship God without ceasing, then thy heart and his will become one 
" heart." Again, " With him who has God always in his heart, he 


** will direll and take aWay his sins, as a plane removes the uneven parts 
** of the wood."* 

All that has hitherto been quoted of the writings of these heathens 
concerning God, the Supreme Being, is briefly comprised in a letter, which 
^an intelligent heathen lately wrote to us, viz. : *'God, the Supreme Being, 
4s possessed of such infinite greatness and glory, that nobody can com- 
prehend him. In our Shastras it is written, that he is almighty and full 
of grace, governing and upholding all in mercy. As regards his eternity, 
JK>body can find in it a beginning or an end ; for no one ean say : At 
such and such a time he began to exist, and so and so long he has already 
ruled* This is a matter which nobody can comprehend. The Supreme 
Being has created all gods, all men, all creatures ; and according to his 
infinite goodness, perfect justice, and unspeakable wisdom, he governs 
and upholds all. Of such infinite perfections there are many, so that we 
^cannot give an adequate desctiption of God, the Suprisme Being, and say, 
«ttch and such he is ; for every moment he can be whatever he wills to 
be. He alone knows himself so as he really is ; neither men, nor gods, 
jCBJi comprehend him according to his real nature. Thus it is written 
in our Sh&stras, in which we are also told, that when we wish to 
worship him, we must conceive him in the form of a holy man. At 
Jast all things will again return into him as in their origin. So much 
do I know of the glory of God, the Suprente Being. Moreover, it must 
be said that he is a being to whom nothing can be compared. All the 
qualities which we think to be good and precious in mankind, are only 
shadows of his divine perfections. He can assume as many excellencies 
as he likes ; for whatever he thinks is at once realized. He has a shape, 
and has none. He is possessed of incomparable beauty, immeasurable 
^msdom, incomprehensible goodness, infinite grace, love, and mercy, and 
unspeakable humility and long suffering. According to these perfections 
be governs, upholds, and saves all. So much do we know of his perfec- 
tions ; the rest, for which there is neither measure nor end, is incom- 
prehensible for us. 

As regards the place where he is, the 14 worlds cannot contain him 
who dwells far above them in a bright light, and fills all in all. His 
work is, graciously to support and govern all. Regarding the question 
w^hether his providence extends also to this world or not, we have to 
say* that it does surely also extend to this world, for he cares for all and 
is merciful towards all. Nothing, not the least thing, can move without 
bim : so minute is his providence over all. Without it nothing can 
bappen. By it have all the 8,400,000 species of living creatures, from 

• Because Siyavakyer makes use of verj strong expressions, and will not even 
suffer the names Siva and Vishnu, the Saiva Pandarams seek after his book, and 
destroy all copies they can lay hold of. But as they cannot get all, the Dharma- 
sabha in Madras has printed an interpolated, and very much falsified edition, in 
which the meaning of the original is perverted into the contrary. Genuine copies 
are very rare. Taylor's Catalogue HI. 26. 


the smallest insect to the largest elephant, their sustenance, food, and 
rest. All live, move, and have their being according to his grace and 
providence. If his providence were to cease, nothing could live or 
move. He cares even for such creatures as arise from the earth. As 
regards your question, ** By what means can we know Gk>d," I answer : 
'' We can know him by the Law he has given us, and by the wonders he 
does in the world ; also by the understanding and reason given us by 
him, and by the works of creation and their preservation. Finally, as to 
the service we owe him, it consist chiefly in love and faith. For accord* 
ing to our sacred books the best service of God consists in love and fiuth 
in our mouths and hearts, and in doing all in love and faiUi. Moreover, 
we must call on him, and walk accc^ng to his commandments ; yea, 
we must at all times adore him, obey him, and live acewding to his 

From aU this it is sufficiently evident what these heathens believe of 
God, the Supreme Being, and how much further they have come in hia 
knowledge, by the light of nature, than the heathens of Rome. But the 
Hght of nature has been quite obscured by their ancient poets and Brah- 
mins, who have written many fabulous stories, and introduced a coo- 
fuse idol-worship, out of which they cannot easily extricate themselves, 
though they feel much opposition to it in llieir consciences, and can speak 
very reasonably of the Supreme Being, 


Pardhara/oast/w ae a Material Visible Being. 

Inasmticb as these heathens cannot, with their reason, comprehend the 
highest Divine Being according to his immaterial and essential nature, 
and as thej have not had the revelation of God in his Word, or at least 
not accepted it : they have indulged in speculations, hy which they have 
run into manifold errors, and have formed altogether fleshly ideas and 
material representations of the Supreme Being, imi^ining that he must 
have a visible and material form, if he is at all to be seen, known, 
adored, and worshipped by his creatures ; and they believe therefore 
that God, the Supreme Being, before creating material creatures, has 
given himself a material form. 

Of this material form of the Supreme Being they have, indeed, no de- 
finite idea : but because they see in nature that all living creatures 
originate in the masculine and feminine powers, they draw conclusions 
'from the creatures in regard to the Creator, and think that God, the 
Supreme Being, from whom all has come, must himself be a masculine 
and feminine energy. From this conclusion they go further, and say 
that the Divine Being has separated in itself the masculine energy 
from the feminine, whereupon both the masculine and feminine energies 
have assumed visible forms, whence they derive the origin of all their 
gods and all creatures, as we shall show by and by more at large. 
From this it may be seen that these heathens have indeed a pow- 
erful imagination, by means of which they draw many reasonable 
conclusions concerning God, but that they have nevertheless, for 
-want of heavenly light and a divine revelation, run into foolish 
things, and entangled themselves in one error after another, so much 
so that they do now no more know how to reconcile their system of 
gods with their ideas of the Being of beings. And the devil has done 
his best in .extinguishing, the longer the more, the light of nature they 
had, and in turning it into utter darkness, in which he has been so suc- 
cessful that there are now only very imperfect traces of the knowledge 
of the Supreme Being left among them. 

Now, although they have conceived God to be a material being, they 
have nevertheless no definite idea of his form, but in order to have 
something for the external senses to rely upon, they represent the Divine 
Being by an image which is man and woman in one, and stretches 
through all the 14 worlds, thereby indicating that God fills all in all, 


fresh water.* They fable, moreover, of many large mountains, and of 
7 great islands or continents (which are most of them named from the 
trees said to grow in them, and are in Sanscrit as follows : Jambu, on 
which India is situated, Kusa, Plaksha, Salmali, Krauncha, Saka and 
Pushkara). All these as well as the proceeding and many other curious 
things are described in a book, called fi/fiaireo^^djsjrui Trikslachakra 
(chronology), t 

The 8 elephants and the 9 serpents, which support the mountain 
Mahmeru and all the 14 worlds, have also every one of them their 
own special names. The names of the elephants are as follows : 

1. Sff/rejjgLD Airavata ; 2. i^earL^fisLo Vund&rikA ; 3. fi//r£/>ari2> Yamana ; 
4* (QQp^ui Kumuda ; 5, j/ff^-Fearth Anchana ; 6. i^tLu^/i^ui Push- 
padanta ; 7. •r/rireiy^u) Sarvabh^tna ; 8. stulju^uld Supratiba. And 
the names of the 8 serpents are as follows .* 1. ^mk^m Ananta ; 

2. eansrQ Vasuki ; 3. /sda^ Daksha ; 4. ^iL^sesr Takshaka ; 5. 
^niiiQaai^sar Karkodaka ; 6. s^msar Sanga ; 7. ^efisek Kulika : 8. 
iLsiTUffiLDGar Mahapadma i\ Of these 8 serpents some make but one, 
which is called <?<frQ^6Br or ^^Q^^ek Sesha or Adisesha, and said to 
have 1000 heads. § But these and similar matters are known to the 
learned only, who have still many other things that make their 

• Beschi in his bigh-l'amil Dictionary has another order, viz. ; m.iiii, 
$jr4o, fltSf, Qviu, m(sCtu^9rffi Qfior, the meaning of the words^ however, is the same. 
Others substitute for these Tamil words Sancrit words, and for honey ^n Sorft, 
palm-wine. According to Ward, the beds fc^ the 7 oceans were made by the 60,000 
sons of king Sagara, who in seeking their father's horse, which was destined 
for a sacrifice, and had been stolen by Indra, made away into the lower worlds, 
and swallowed the earth they digged up, for want of space. In Wilson's " Hindu 
Festivals** a somewhat different account is given, according to which the Gangi^ 
was drawn down from heaven by Sagara's great-grandson Bhaglratha, for the 
purpose of purifying the bones of those royal sons, who were burnt by the Mnni 
Kapila in the lower world ; and ever since Ganga is filling up the deft in the 
earth, and forming the oceans. 

f Geographical works in Tamil are rare. Ooladipa (globe-lamp), a new book, 
translated from the Sanscrit, treats of the geography of the Fur anas (secondary 
sacred writings), which contain, in special subdivisions, called Bhuvan&kosha and 
Bssamala, geographical treatises, of which the first 2 chapters of the 2d book of 
the Yishnu-Purana deserve special notice. 

X 6eSChi*S order is as follows «rr«9, ^fottfiOr, ^AmSt, ^AsuwtOr, ^«A«<ar, u^ioOr, loswL^ 

mOr, srt*QML^tar Vasuki was tied to the mount Mandara when the gods churned 
the milk-sea. Sanga and Mahapadma watch precious stones of the same names, 
belonging to EuvSra. 

§ Sesha is frequently added to the 8 serpents as the 9th. On him, the emblem of 
eternity, reposed Vishnu in the ocean when he meditated on the creation of the 
world, wherefore he is often represented as lying on this serpent, which bends his 
heads over him, forming thus an umbrella. Taylor in his Hindu Mythology says 
(p. 1.2) : ** Many fables introduce Adi Sesha as concerned. The most popu- 
lar tale is that of a dispute between this snake and Y&yu, regent of wind. The 
latter, in a trial of strength, blew with all possible violence against the 1000 peaks 


l^eads ache ; for their theology is full of so very many whimsical 
things, that many years are required only to get a general concep- 
tion of it, not tq say, to commit ail the particulars in it to me- 
mory and understand them. They themselves allow that their 
tiieology is an ocean of which no end can he seen. And inasmuch 
as they are divided into many sects, they have also many controverted 
opinions in these matters. 

Hitherto we have described the figure by which they represent the 
Supreme Being as material. But this figure is not, like the images of the 
different gods, carved in wood, or cast in metal ; it is only a painting 
which is found in some of the large pagodas ; nor does it receive adora- 
tion or offerings. Some represent the Supreme Being by another figure, 
viz., a human form, being on one side nuin, and on the other woman, to 
indicate that the Supreme Being has in itself both the masculine and the 
feminine energies. But also this figure is not adored in the pagodas ; 
it is only found as a picture here and there. 

The figure which is intended to represent the Supreme Being, and 
which is found every where in their pagodas is the Linga, i. e. a 
figure by which the genitals of both sexes are represented — contrary to 
nature which teaches us to conceal them. This figure is worshipped 
in all the Saiva pagodas daily three times, with drink-offering, meat- 
offering, and burning of incense, by a certain class of Brahmins ;* and 
none but these Brahmins are allowed to perform the Linga-worship 
before that Linga which stands in the innermost and most holy part of 
the pagodas.t As regards these Brahmins, they wear a string of beads, 
called 9L.(^fiairiL^w Rudraksha|, which is regarded as very holy, on 
their necks, and another one on their heads, which they have uncover- 
ed, and, with the exception of a tuft of long hair, shaven (like all 

of If cunt Mem, and Adi S^sha covered every one of the peaks, each peak by one 
of his thousand beads In the legend of Tripeti an improvement of this tale is 
made : Vayu, being disappointed, tried a feint, and ceased blowing for a while. 
Adi Sssha, in doabt> lifted up one head to see what was become of V&yu, when the 
latter suddenly returned with all force, and blew off the exposed peak, which was 
carried through the air and fell at Yencatachela or Tripeti (in the North- Western 
corner of Tamil country), a hill that now partakes of the sanctity of Mount Msru, 
Ibr the benefit of Brahmins.*' 

^ Here the translator has omitted a few general remarks about the Linga- 
worship, inasmuch as they will be found at greater length in the followkig 

t This class of Brahmins is less esteemed than other classes. 

X Budraksha is the fruit of the eleocarpus, and resembles as to form, size, an d 
colour the nutmeg. The meaning of the word is Budra's (i. e. Siva's) eye, and 
then also tear ; to which the following tale, mentioned in Taylor's Hindu Mytho- 
logy, p. 104 is a commentary : When Siva once, in a war with the A suras, had 
burned 3 cities, he wept at the loss of lives involved, and the tears falling to 
the ground, sprung up as shrubs producing berries, which were thence called 


Hindus). They wear also, in common with all Brahmins, another thin 
string, called Ptlnttl.* 

About the Linga much has been written in their different religious 
books, and multifarious names are given to it, viz. ; ^tu^sau) Siva- 
linga, ^ey«oL.<L/4r/feSfir6SLb Avudayar-linga(i. e. the linga of the possessor of 
the ox) ; QpeoeSAsui Mula-linga (original or chief linga) ; ^^naiSiBisu> 
Adhara-linga (fundamental linga) ; utr^irsirtSAmLD Patala-linga (hell- 
linga). The Linga is made of stones, and may be seen everywhere 
standing in the field under trees, in groves, and in woods, where the 
common people offer unto it various flowers. They believe also, or at 
least pretend to believe, that some of the Lingas have grown spon- 
taneously out of the earth, and that these cannot be dug out» because 
they have no end below. They are supposed to go down into the lowest 
world, and are therefore called Patala-linga ; and as they are consi- 
dered to be very holy, many pilgrims flock to the places where such are 
supposed to be. A considerable number of these heathens, especially 
the umL^aaiiSGr PandErams and ^mL^meir Andis (religious beggars), 
have also a miniature of the linga, made of stone or crystal, and wear 
the same in a small casket of silver or gold either on the breast by 
means of a string round the neck, or fastened to the right arm, or to 
the tuft of hair on the head.f Some never remove it from their bodies, 
and are buried with it. Such a Linga is called iSirnemfSsiaih Prana- 
linga (life-linga). Some, when about to bathe in a river, and intend- 
ing to perform their religious ceremonies, make a figure of earth, 
representing a Linga, worship the same, and throw it then into 
the water. This is called ufnT^fieufSisisy,€a>^ Parthiva-linga-puja (earth- 
linga-worship). The offerings made to the Linga are many in number 
and of various kinds, and are called by a generic name gj^msy,cs>^ 
Linga-puja, (Linga- worship), of which particulars will be found in the 
following chapter. No image receives so much honor among these 
heathens as this. We might here also mention se^^nri" stwrwlhal ftrb 
related of th6 Linga, but we will rather forbear, inasmuch as they con- 
tain so very absurd things.:^ 

• The Punul (uay^, from the verb ^t*f, dress, adorn, and the noun j^io string, 
thread) is a threefold cotton-string, suspended from the left shoulder to the right 
side, and put on for the first time, with great ceremony, when the young Brahmin 
is 7 or 9 years old. 

t A special class of LingadharisCLinga-wearers) are the so-calledVlra-saivas. The 
epithet Vira, i. e. brave, ferocious, they have obtained from their ferocity in their war- 
fare against the Jainas and Buddhists, and up to this day they are very intolerant, 
and natural enemies of the Brahmins. They worship and wear the phallus only. 

X The Linga is the principal form, under which Siva is worshipped at present. 
In many temples there are said to be no less than 108, in some even 216 Lingas, 
which stand usually in the halls surrounding the pagodas. Mula-linga Js^jyhe im- 
moveable figQie in the innermost of the pagoda, in contradistinction to tLf^MSSmt 
ITtsava-linga (festivsJ-linga), which is carried about at processions. 



Siva, as the Masculine Power of the Pardbaravastu. 

As these heathens desire to derive all their gods from the one Divine 
Being, they conceive of the Pardbaravastu in different ways, and con- 
sider it then also as a being that has separated the masculine energy in 
itself from the feminine^ whereupon both energies assumed external 
forms, the former being called Siva, and the latter, Sakti. Of Siva we 
treat in this chapter, and of Sakti in the following. 

Siva is represented with 5 faces, 10 arms, and 10 hands. In 2 hands 
he holds nothing ; in the 4 right ones he holds respectively : a u>rreir 
Man, i. e. a stag ; a Qeueo Ygl, i. e. a lance ; an ^(Bdeas Udukkai, i. e. a 
kind of drum ; a Sjs^ Kathi, i. e. a sword or knife ; and in the 4 left 
ones : a u>(ip Marhu, i. e. a battle-axe; a ^eou) Siila, i. e. a trident ; ^ Ti, 
i. 6. fire ; a uiBen^ Parisai, i. e. a shield. Every one of these weapons 
and signs has a special significance, and a special tale is related of each 
one. These things however will occur in the chapter about Is vara, who 
is thought to be identical with Siva, as may be seen in the second part 
of this genealogy. 

Siva is painted white, as having his whole body bedaubed with sacred 
ashea, called fiQ^^jpi Tiruniru or f^y,^ Vibhuti, consisting of burnt cow- 
dung. But on the forehead he has three special streaks of Vibhuti, 
with which also his followers bedaub themselves daily, using three of their 
fingers in doing it.* On each of his five heads he wears a crown, and 
on his ears, neck, hands, and feet he is adorned with jewels of pearls, 
gold, and silver ; while from his shoulders hang down garlands. Round 
his waist he wears a motley cloth and a golden girdle. He stands on a 
flower, called ^nubcsiauy, Tamarasa or sldboljiLuld Kamala, i. e. the 
Lotus which, according to their books, is very holy, some of their gods 
having originated in such a fiower with 1000 leaves. f For as regards the 

• Sivaa' body is by nature covered with the " eternal ashes," and after each 
Kalpa, e. i. cycle of ages, he burns all things and bedaubs himself with the ashes. 
Not all of his followers make three streaks of Vibhuti on their forehead ; some 
make a round spot either of burnt cowdung, or of sandal and Vermillion, which 
represents Siva's third eye ; while the three streaks signify that three kinds of 
nncleaness, viz., pride, sinful actions, and malice are taken away. 

t When Nfirayana, (which means one that moves on the water, and which is 
a name of Vishnu,) was floating on the eternal waters, resting on the Adisesha and 
meditating on the creation of the world, a Lotus grew out of his navel, and from the 
flower sprang Brahma, the creator. 



origin of their gods, they have many controverted opinions, among which 
we follow in this genealogy that which is now most generally received 
and defended by the learned. 

The 6 faces with which Siva is represented are said to be the u^^ 
Mh^^irsAmr Puncha Karttakkel, i. e. the five lords or gods, and named 
tS(^Loff Brahma, «0e^.0v Vishnu, u^Q^fiffek Rudra, xAC^^Fcv/ror MahSsvara, 
and ^^ffSieaek Sadasiva. These are considered to be different from each 
other, and yet one.* But to Budra, MahSsvara, and Sad&siva no pago- 
das are dedicated, nor are they worshipped, except under the name of 
Jsvara, which is a name of Siva, so that there are after all only 3 chief 
gods, viz., Brahma, Vishnu, and Isvara, called Qpw^tp/r^fisar Mum- 
murttis (three forms), which will be considered in the second part of this 

As regards the origin of the Puncha Karttakkel, one of these heathens 
wrote us concerning the same as follows : '^ God, the Supreme Being, 
baa created all gods, all men, and all the other creatures. But in 
order to create and govern the world, and to accomodate himself to the 
capacity of men, and to enable them to form some conception or other of 
him, he has manifested himself in the Puncha Karttakkel ; which 5 lords 
M*e contained in the one Supreme Being, and are the agents through 
whom he orders and governs all, and they will finally be re-united with 
him, so thatJJL wor shippin g these 5 lor ds we wor ship only one, who is 
all in all." " 

^^hus, these heathens attempt to reduce the multitude of their gods to but 
one Divine Being; but in doing so they have got into great confusion, and 
conceived various systems and forms of religion, ifhich differ widely from 
one another, and of which the two principal ones are the Sivamatha, 
or Siva-religion, and the Vishnumatha, or Vishnu-religion, f The 
followers of Siva consider Siva to be the highest god in the Divine 
Being, and all the other gods to be contained in him. Siva and Isvara 
are held to be identical, but the name Isvara is more frequently used 
than Siva. The followers of Siva or Isvara form here in the South the 
great majority, and are distinguished from the others by the mark 
of burnt cowdung on their foreheads. Their principal and often 
repeated form of prayer is, isub^Qiirtu Namahsivaya, which is called 
u^^iriL^nui Panchakshara ('5 characters) and means, '* Oh Siva, be 

• The 5 lords stand in relation to the 5 stages, through which the world at large, 
and human souls in particular, have to pass, viz., creation, preservation, obtenebra- 
tion, illumination, and return to the original st^te, or reunion with the divine Being, 
which by their philosophers is considered to be not a personal, but an impersonal 
being ,• wherefore it is also spoken of in the neuter gender, as Sivam, BrShmSm, 
Farabaram, Om. 

t This is quite true of the South, but in the North of India, the Saktas, or 
followers of the Sakti (feminine energy) are the most numerous sect, amounting 
in Bengal to f of the population. 


praised** (or : ^* Adoration to Siva.") Among the Saivas there are 
manj different sects.* 

'Ihe followers of Vishnu consider Vishnu to be the highest god in 

the Divine Being, and call hikn therefore wsirdi^jgsi Maha- Vishnu 

(the great Vishnu). They, too, represent him by the figure, which has 

been descnbed in the foregoitig chapter as uniting the masculine and 

feminine energies^ and say that Vishnu has originated in the masculine, 

and his consort Lakshmi in the feminine energy. The Vaishnavas in 

the Tamil country wear on their foreheads a curious' figure, called 

fi(^/Biru>u} Tirunama, i. e. holy name.f Besides this they paint on their 

arms 2 other signs, viz., the ^lii^ Sankha (shell) and ^dsirw Chakra 

(discus), weapons of Vishnu. Their principal form of prayer, called 

^a^u.iriL^ffLo Ashtakshara, i. e. 8 characters, is as follows : ^unsCtnir 

mirinnu^uj Om namo Nar&yanSya. i. e. **0m, praise to NSlrayana'* 

(that is Vishnu.) J 

Others consider Isvara, Vishnu, and Brahma to be one, and believe 
this triad to be the highest god in the Divine Being. § Thus, their books 
and opinions differ widely from each other. 

Siva, being considered as the highest god, and as comprehending all 
the other gods, receives such names as belong by right only to the 
Supreme Being, viz. : — Q^oira/sinumar Lokan3,yaka, i. e. Lord of the world: 
^(saifiB Svami, i. e. Lord or God ; ^cki-^euir Andaver, i. e. Supreme 
ruler ; ^iroj&eufitu/ruirar Sarvajivadayabara i. e. Lover of all living 
creatures, etc. Butwe must here remark that these and similar names 
are given to all gods whom they wish to exalt, as may be seen from the 
books written about particular gods. Moreover, it ought to be borne ia 
mind that Siva and Isvara are identicaL Siva has no special pagodas ; 
be is worshipped in Isvara's pagodas, and that not under the form 
of the figure with 5 faces and 10 arms, but under that of the figure 
called Linga. 

• ^6 names of thMe sei^td are aceorditig to Wilson as follows : Daodis and 
J>88iiami8; Togk ; Jangamas ; FaMtnahansas ; Aghoris ; Urddhabahus, Akai- 
mt&hlB and Nakhis ; Gudaras ; Bukharas, Sukharas and Ukharas ; Kara Lingis ; 
Sannyasis ; Brahmacharis^ Avadhutas ; Nagas. 

t The Tirunama is an imitation of Vishnu's trident, almost like the Hebrew 
character Shin. It consists of two white lines, extending from the hair to the 
eye-hrow8, and then biuading to the nose where they meet, and a ted perpendicular 
line between them from the nose to the hair. Those who belong to the Southern 
branch, called Tengalai, (followers of Manavftla), prolong the middle line a little 
down the nose, to distinguish themselves from the Northern branch, called Vada- 
galai, who use more Sancrit writings and worship Bama not so exclusively. 

% In the North they say : " Om Bamaya namah." " Om" means ** That" i. e. 
tte Divine Being indefinite. 

§ The Smarta-Brahmins, who adhere more than others to the Vedas and the 
Smriti (the ancient law book) and are followers of the pantheistic Saiva Sankar&- 
charya, hold Brahma and Vishnu to be manifestations of Siva, as the Lord of 
th« Universe. 


Among fche books written about Siva, there are especially 4 held in 
great esteem, viz: 1. ftQ^ean^sLo Tiruvachaka, i. e. holy word, which 
contains dialogues between Siva and a devotee of his, in which the 
latter confesses his nothingness and misery, and contrasts it with Siva's 
glory and great deeds. There are also various moral precepts contain- 
ed in it. it is said to have been written more than 1000 years ago 
by the poet wirmiidatua^sff ManikyavEchaka,* wliich name means *'one 
whose words are like precious stones. 2. Q/gtungih Dgv9.ramt, i. e. divine 
praises, which ure chanted by an assistant of the priest or others, after the 
performance of the " Puja" in the Saiva temples. 3. ^oi^trsfQuir^ui 
Sivagnanabodha (Siva- wisdom's instruction), being also nothing but 
praises of Siva. 4. Situaea^Lo Sivakavacha (Siva-armor), containing 
dialogues between Siva and a devotee of his in poetical language, in 
which also the foregoing ones and nearly all their religious books are 

Moreover we have to remark that the Saivas consider the highest of 
the 14 worlds to be Siva's, and call it therefore SltuQeoirath Sivaloka, 
but otherwise it is called Satyaloka. When one who has lived a virtu- 
ous life dies, they say that his soul has gone to Siva's world. In this 
there are 4 states of bliss, viz., 1. ^irQeoirsLD Salokya, i. e. dwelling with 
Siva ; 2. ^iri£uth Samlpya, i. e. occupying a place near Siva. 3. ^ir^uih 
Sarttpya i. e. bearing the image of Siva. 4. ^/nt^^^ajth S&yujya, i. e. 
being identified with Siva. | 

The servants through whom Siva fetches the souls of his devo- 
tees from this world into his world of bliss, are called Sltu^^jsirds&r 
Sivad^tas, i. e., Siva's messengers. Besides these there are also 
lULD^^nss&r Yamadntas, who carry the souls of the wicked from 
this world to Yama into the lowest world, called Patala or Yama- 
loka, i. e. hell. In their writings there are to be found many stories 
concerning those messengers and the manner in which they fetch 

* Manikyavachaka, born at Y &dayQr on the bank of the river Vaigai in the 
district of Madura, was a minister of Arimarddhana Fandja, king of Madura. 
He hved about 800 A. 1)., and died 32 years old at Chellambram. He was one of 
the greatest champions of Sivaism ajirainst Buddhism ; and of his work it is said : 
♦» ^(n^miF^sfi^giKi^srir ^dfmir&s^^gitQpcfsri" i. e." Tbose who are not moved by the **holy" 
word," will be moved by no word." 

t Dey&ram is a collection of songs, made by the 3 renowned, contemporary cham* 
pions of Sivaism against Buddhism, Apper, Sundarer, and Sampander, extolling 
the 1008 Siva Pagodas ; of which songs however only 674 are still extant. This 
work together with the Tiruvachaka, is called the Tamil Veda, and considered 

X These 4 degrees of bliss are obtained respectively through 1 . ^m^ Charita, 
consisting in a coarse of lower religious services ; 2. QJImu Eriya, consisting in the 
performance of religious ceremonies of a higher order ; 3. Ctjrsib Yaga, consisting 
in religious and abstract meditation with the body in a fixed posture ; 4. ®*arii 
Gnana, consisting in mystic knowledge and wisdom. The last and highest degree 
can be obtained by those only who have passed through the other 3 degrees. 


souls from this world into the other ; but we will here only remark that 
none of them is allowed to fetch a soul except by Siva's order. 

Of all the gods Siva receives most offerings, both within and without 
the pagodas. AH the offerings made unto him are called &4uy,mr Siva- 
puja, and they are performed before, and to, the Linga. In the Isvara 
pagodas " PSja*' is performed by Brahmins throughout the year every 
day thrice, viz., in the morning, at noon, and in the evening,* and this 
is called i8^fiiuy,m^ Nitya-pt^a, i. e. the continual pr daily offering. It 
consists in 3 things viz., 1. ^tSCe^ati AbhishSka (holy anointing), 2, 
^iruu) DhHpa (incense), 3. m/sCeu^^iuLo NaivSdya (meat offering, obla- 
tion), which are done together as forming the 3 acts of every "Puja," 
For the first, the Abhisheka, they take honey, sugar, cocoa-nut-water, 
milk, etc., with which they anoint the Linga. The second, Dhtipa, is 
made of odorous wood and ^/nhiSffirtaH Sllmbirani, i. e. frankincense, 
which they kindle together in a censer, and incense the Linga there- 
with. The third, Naivgdya, is an oblation of various aHicles of food, 
which are afterwards divided and consumed by the Brahmins and ser- 
vants of the pagodas. All these different kinds of offerings are perform- 
ed with many ceremonies and under the utterance of many formulas of 
prayers. Besides the articles mentioned, they offer also flowers to the 
Xiinga, either throwing them on it, or hanging them in garlands on it. 
All this is done in the innermost part of the pagoda, called snuuaQjrsui 
Garbhagriha (inner house), where one or two lamps are kept burning 
all night long. In the outer room many lamps are burning when 
the Fnja is being performed ; (which is therefore also called fiunimfshr 
i. e. lamp-worship) ; and at the entrance of the pagoda there are the 
musicians, and Q/stu^tr&s&r DSvadasis, i. e. female servants of the gods, 
dancing and singing all the while. Thus the daily offering is performed 
in the pagodas in honour of Siva. On festivals every thing is done 
still more splendidly, and very often they get so many meat offerings 
that the Brahmins can give something to all the people in the town, 
which is then considered to be as holy as the shew-bread was among the 
Jews, and consumed with devotion. 

The offerings made to Siva without the pagodas are likewise many in 
number and multifarious. Flowers may be offered by any body to those 
liingas which stand in the field, or in groves, but the proper Ptija can 
only be performed by those, who are called m^ciir Saivas per excellence 
and who eat nothing in which there is the principle of life (as flesh or 
6ggs) ; and also these must first be initiated, and receive the privilege 
of doing it by the priest, before they can do it lawfully. ^ The act by 
which they are r^eived by the priests as disciples, and initiated into 
the mysteries, is called fitlm^ Diksha (initiation). For those who desire 
to obtain the privilege of offering themselves, four acts of the Diksha are 

' * Among the 32 mistakes that may occur in worship, is also the visiting of the 
temple at the improper time. 



required.* The first is performed when they are yet children, and by 
it they are received into the society of the initiated, just as our children 
are received into the Church by baptism. The second is performed 
when they are grown up, and by it they receive the privilege of learn- 
ing certain lessons and prayers, which they are also to practise. 
Through the third they come to know greater mysteries, and through 
the fourth they obtain the privilege to offer themselves, which costs 
them however from 16 to loO Rupees, because they must on this occa- 
sion feed many ^€SirL^s€ir Andis, umL^iraii^er PandS^rams (religious 
beggars), and uffQ/g&sar Parad^is, i. e. strange travellers. 

Those, then, who have obtained the privilege of performing Puja, 
allow no day to pass away without doing it. They have the Linga in a 
small form, together with all the utensils for offering, in their houses, 
and offer to it not only flowers, but also drink offerings, meat offerings, 
and incense, performing all the prescribed ceremonies, and uttering all 
the prescribed prayers. This they do every day at least once« before 
they take their meal, and that quite alone, either in their houses or at a 
river, and usually they read also a portion of some book written in honor 
of Siva. When they are sick, they engage some one who is privileged 
to perform Puja, that he may do it for them before their bed. There 
are also women who perform Puja daily, but only such as have duly 
received the Dlksha, are privileged to do it. And this can be obtained 
only by those who eat nothing that has the principle of life in it, but live 
entirely upon vegetable productions and milk and butter. As a matter 
of course, also the Brahmins have to observe the same diet. 

Of Siva's festivals we shall speak in the chapter about Isvara. 

Illustrative of all that has been said in this chapter about Sita, w6 
give now an extract of a letter which was written to us by a Saiva : 
*' Siva is included in the 5 great lords who have originated in the highest 
Bivine Being. He is considered to be the Supreme Being himself, and 
in his honour most festivals are celebrated, most pagodas built, and most 
offenngs made. It may be said that Parabaravastu and Siva are one. 
God, the Supreme Being, has transformed himself into the 5 lords, in order 
to make the 5 great works go on, and govern the world with mankind 
therein. When we are asked why Siva has originated, we answer he has 
originated, that we in this country may know God, the Supreine 6eii[ig, 
and form such an idea of him as is intelligible to the human understand- 
ing ; that we may have a certain form of relijgion in this world, and 
receive every one of us what we deserve for having done good oi* evil. 
Brahma has originated, in order to create all things, and ea;u8e all 
living creatures to be bom and to die. Yishnu has originated, in order 
to support and feed all living creatures in the world. Rudra^ MahSs- 

* Usually only 3 acts are enumerated, viz., 1 . siadftLmr Samayadiksba, by which 
the candidate is made a member of the sect ; 2. ^Q0m^^CjBs>» Visfshadiksha, by 
which tie receives the privilege of being instructed in the mysteries of SivaiSm ; 
3. ii(swm9iLmm by which he obtains all privileges. 


vara, and Sad&siva are all one divinity, viz. Siva who dwells in the 
hearts of men, makes them feel, think, and understand all, and delivers 
them from evil. But also Brahma and Vishnu are comprehended in 
the one Divine Being ; the five lords are but the five faces of one Being, 
and will at last become one face, that the Supreme Being may be all in 
all. Siva is now in the Sivaloka, but he dwells also in me. Since he 
became visible and material, he is worshipped under the form of the 
Linga, by which is also indicated that Siva and Sakti are one. 
But Siva's essential nature is holy, spiritual and immaterial, which, 
however, we men cannot comprehend. Our holy scriptures, too, say 
we cannot form a conception of his shape, nor compare him with 
any thing. As to the many offerings that are made to Siva, they are 
means to be delivered from sin, to obtain good understanding, wisdom, 
and bliss, as well as to be preserved in this world from suffering evil and 
committing sin, and to be enabled to lead a virtuous life, and to meet 
with a peaceful death/' 

* Regarding the dweUiag place of Siva oompare " Saiva Samaya, VinATidei" by 
Foulkes p. 63 : ** Can you shew b^ a simile Hiat the great Siva, who is omnipresent 
and filling all, dwells in the Sirahnga in the Pagodas ?— Milk is difiused through 
the whole body of the cow, but only in the udder it is visibly concentrated : in the 
same manner the great Siva dwells fpecially io the Sivalinga.*' 



Sdkti, as tlie Feminine Power of the Pardbaravaatu, 

These heathens have not only gods, but also goddesses. And just as 
thej believe all the gods to have originated in Siva, so they hold that 
all the goddesses have originated in the Sakti, wherefore they are all 
called by the general name Sakti.* Regarding the origin of the Sakti 
a heathen wrote us as follows : *' The Sakti has originated in God, 
the Supreme Being. For when the one God wished to manifest him- 
self in many creatures, he thought it well that there should be a mother 
of all the worlds ; upon which there originated in him the Sakti which 
is also called ujnrs'^fi Parasakti and ^fdujr/r^^fl Adipar^sakti, inasmuch 
as she originated in the eternal Divine Being.** 

This Sakti is represented as a woman in natural form with 2 hands, 
one of which she lets hang down, and in the other she holds a flower, 
called Q^fsisQfifinu^ Sengarhunirppu (red- water-lily) ; while on another 
flower, called ^irmwiru^ Tamarasa (lotus), she stands, and two of the 
same kind she has behind her ears ; for this flower is regarded as sacred. 
The colour of her body is green. On her head she has a crown and on 
her brow 3 white streaks with a round spot, the mark of all Saivas. 
Her ears, with large holes in them, hang full of jewels. Round her neck 
she wears a string of pearls, and another long one with various jewels 
hangs down to her breast. On her arms she has bracelets and rings 
after the fashion of the Tamil women. Her garment is red. Round her 
waist she wears a golden belt with various jewels, and on her feet, silver 
rings ; while a long garland hangs down from her shoulders. 

In this form stands the Sakti in the pagodas, but she is then always 
called Farvati, who is Isvara's consort. For just as they make of Siva 
Isvara, so of the Sakti, Parvati, under which name we shall speak of 
her in the second part. Some of her general names are as follows : 
s^fTQiQediraiBtnuQ Sarvalokanayaki, i. e. mistress of the whole world ; 
^/rojCeonsLDir^ff Sarvalakamata, i. e. mother of the whole world ; ^irot 
^ajiTuift Sarvadayabari, i. e. lover of all creatures; c^tS Devi, i. e. 
goddess, etc. 

From this Sakti they derive 9 other Saktis called /soj^^fl Navasakti. 
Some say that these are the consorts of Isvara, Vishnu, and Brahma ; 
and others give them the following names : 1. u>irf8iuLDts>u> Mariamma ; 
2. ereoeoihenLD EUamma ; 3. ^eis/rarwtnLD Ankalamma ; 4. ufiflffAtr^B 

• Sakti means *' power, energy," but here it signifies ." the female power in the 


Bhadrak&li ; 5. iSi^rtfl PidHii ; 6. ^irQpmt^ Ch&mundi ; 7. srisms Dur- 
ga ; 8. ^W Poranai ; 9. tftls^ Pudkalai ; the last two of which are 
AjenHr's wives. These 9 Saktis are said to have been in glory, but 
then to have become arrogant, in consequence of which they were cursed 
and banished from the realm of glory to this world ; where, however, 
they have got the office to protect mankind from the devils ; wherefore 
these heathens have built them temples and celebrate festivals in their 
honour. They are the Qffini>(:^tum^<Bw GramadSvatas, of whom we 
shall speak in the third part of this genealogy. 

Others, again, say that the Parasa^ti has produced many thousands of 
other Saktis, all of which enjoy divine power, honour, and glory ; for 
their poets have been exceedingly fond of multiplying the gods and 
goddesses, so that it is difficult to explain their books, and to shew the 
origin of so many gods and goddesses. 

The Sakti is worshipped in the pagodas under the form of the Siva* 
lin^a. She partakes of the offerings made to the Linga, of which we 
have already spoken, but special forms of prayer, are addressed to Siva 
and to her, or what is the same, to Isvara and Parvati,* For as they 
have books written in honor of Siva, so they have also books written 
in honor of the Sakti, of which the principal one is called Q^^^w^ui Dgvi- 
kanacha (goddess-armour). 

But some of these heathens practice also a special ^^fiy,m^ SaktiptEja, 
i. e. Sakti'Worship, which is, however, rather a sort of witchcraft than 
an offering. Flesh of swine and other animals as well as strong drink 
being used, it is done by man and woman in the state of nature, in a 
room locked up ; and in doing it in neither should arise sensual desire ; for 
otherwise the whole offering is believed to be of no effect. In like 
manner the offering is thought to be ineffectual, when they make the 
slightest mistake in the ceremonies and in the utterance of the formulas 
of prayer. As this kind of offering costs much, only rich people per- 
form it ; but they believe that great things, either for good or for evil, 
can be effected through it. Inasmuch however as it is a kind of witch- 
craft, they do it quite secretly and let it not be known to their neighbours ; 
for if some one is known to perform this Ptija the same is feared, and 
thought to be no better than a wizard ; but as these things are done 
under the pretence of doing a divine service, the persons who do them 
are not punished, only feared.t 

• According to the bias of the worshipper towards Siva or Vishnu the name 
giren to the Sakti varies. She is therefore termed Parvati, Bhavftni or Durga by 
the followers of Siva ; but Lakshmi by those of Vishnu. 

t Contemiiifi: this Saktipuja the Abbe Dubois, in his Description of the People 
of India, 2d. Ed. Page 126 etc. writes as follows :— 

•* There is an " Occult Sacrifice" in existence, known to many, secret and abo- 
«* ininable as it is. I mean the sacrifice to the Saktis ; a word which signifies 
** force or power. Sometimes it is the wife of Vishnu, and sometimes the wife of 
** Siva that the votaries pretend to honor by this sacrifice ; but the primary object 


All that might still be said of the Sakti, will be mentioned in the 
account of Parvati. We quote now in concln^on the following passage 
of a letter received about the Sakti : ^ The Sakti is the mother who 
has borne all, and is regarded as the wife of Siva, who is the father of all* 
She has originated in the Divine Being, in order to be the mother of 
ail the worlds, and to give salvation and every gift to those who wor- 
ship and adore her ; for she intercedes with God and procures help 
and deliverance from evil. The reason why Siva and Sakti, who were 
originally one, have become man and woman is the will of the Supreme 
Being to be known and comprehended by us men in the world, who 
are divided into a masculine and a feminine sex, and thus propagated 
in the world. All this is a sport of the great God not to be investi- 
gated by us ; for it lies beyond our understanding, and we know no 
'more of it than is written in our religious books. At the end all will 
again return into the clear light and become light In the Sakti have 
originated the Nava-Sakti, i. e. 9 goddesses who are represented as vir- 
gins of 16 years. It is also said that they have multiplied themselves 
into 10,000,000,000 Saktis. among whom however the original Sakti 
is all in all ; for in her all goddesses have originated, and into her all 
will return. As regards the worship she receives, it not very general, 
but those who practice it fast on Friday from love to her, and call upon 
ber, some asking her to give them children, others to grant them a liveli- 

** appears to be the worship of some certain invif ibie foroe represented by the em- 
•* blems of power and strength. It is always c^brated with more or less secrecy; 
** and is more and more wicked, in proportion as those who assist at it are deeply 
** initiated in its attendant n^ysteries of darkness.** 

«* The least detestable of the sacrifices made to the Saktis are those in which the 
** votaries content themselves with eating and drinking of every tiling, without 
** regard to the usage of the country and where men and women (of Si castes) 
** hudcUed promiscuously together, shamelessly violate the sacred laws of decency 
♦• and modesty.** ♦ ♦ • 

** In some varieties of these mysteries of iniquity, still more occult than those 
** alluded to, the conspicnous objects of the sacrifice to the Sakti, are a large 
** vase filled with arrack, (the brandy of the country) and a young girl, quite 
*« naked, ^nd placed in the most shameful attitude. He who sacrifices calls upon 
** the Sakti, who is supposed, by this evocation, to come, and take up her residence 
** in those two objects. After the ofiTering has been made of all that was prepared 
** for the festival, Br&hmans, Sudras, Pariahs, men, women, swill the arrack which 
** was the oifering to the Sakti, regardless of the same glass being used by them 
** all, which in ordinary cases would excite abhorrence. Here, it is a virtuous act 
** to participate in the same morsel, and to receive from each others' months the 
** half gnawn fiesh. The fanatical impulse drives them to excesses which modesty 
** will not permit to be named." 

*' It cannot well be doubted that these enthusiasts endeavour by their infamous 
** sacrifices, to cover with the veil of religion the two ruling passions, lust and the 
" love of intoxicating liquor. It is also certain that Brahmans, and particularly 
" certain women of the caste, are the directors of those horrible mysteries ci 
*' iniquity. Fortunately the great expense of these ceremonies prevents their fre- 
*« quent recurrence.*' 


hood ; and such prayers the Sakti brings before God, and procures what 
is asked of her." * 

From all that has hitherto been said, an idea may be formed of what 
these heathens believe regarding a Supreme Divine Being, and it may 
be seen in how many ways they are accustomed to consider the same, 
likewise also how they derive from it all their gods and goddesses. All 
this has been stated as briefly as possible, to enable the reader to form 
the easier a general conception of this heathenism. Herewith we finish 
the first part of this genealogy. 

* The Sakti- worship leems to have taken its origin in the first centuries of the 
Christian era, and the occasion for it was probably certain metaphorical passages 
in the Ysdas, and then the Sankhya philosophy, in which nature, termed Prakrit!, 
is sud to be of eternal existence, and metaphorically called the mother of gods and 
men, and sometimes identified with Maya, L e. illusion, and personified as the 
bride of the Supreme. The Sakti worship is to a certain extent sanctioned by the 
Puranas, but it is especially prescribed in certain works, called Tantras. (Compare 
Wilson's Hindu Sects.) 




i. e. Isvara, Vishnu, and Brahma, together with their Familie9, 


Having shewn, in the first part, that these heathens believe in the 
existence of a highest Divine Being, from which they derive all their 
gods, we have now in this second part to treat of those gods, and more 
especially of the so-called Qpthopa^fls^k Mummflrttis, viz., Isvara, 
Vishnu, and Brahma, together with their wives and children. 

The word Mummtlrttis (or Trim^rttis) means literally three forms, and 
now by common usage those three gods who are believed by these hea- 
thens to excel all others in power and greatness. As regards their ori- 
gin, we have seen, in the first part, that the masculine and feminine 
energies in the Divine Being assumed separate visible forms ; where- 
upon the masculine power was again divided into three parts, the 
Mummtlrttis. Some hold these to be triune, making thus as it were 
a counterfeit of the mystery of the holy Trinity, and indicating the same 
by the signs on their foreheads.* But there are many who consider 
Isvara alone as the god of gods or the supreme being. Others, viz. the 
Vaishnavas, regard Vishnu only as the supreme being, and again others, 
Brahma, whom they then call uBiSaLLu> Parabrahm. He who has a 
correct idea of the Mummurttis, and knows them according to their 
multifarious names and families, has a correct idea of this heathenism on 
the whole. But he who does not know their proper place in the 
genealogy of the gods, will never understand this complicated system of 

* It is a matter of doubt whether those signs at all indicate the Trimurttif 
and their unity. At all events, it may be said that Christians talk more of this 
Indian trinity than the Hindus themselyes. In the philosophy of the Hindus^ not 
only Siva, Vishnu, and Brahma, but also God and the world are one ; but in 
their mythology the Trimurttis are far from being one; for they do frequently fight 
with each other for supremacy. 



heathenism. We give, therefore, now a concise but sufficient descrip- 
tion of them in 8 chapters in the following order : 

Chap. I. Isvara. 

Chap. II. Isvara's wives, Parvaii and Ganga. 

Chap. III. Vighnesvara, Isvara's elder son. 

Chap. IV. Subhramanya, Isvara's younger son, together with his 
wives, Valliammai and DSvay&nai* 

Chap. V. Vishnu. 

Chap. yi. Vishnu's wives, Lakshmi and BhtLmidSvi. 

Chap. VIL Vishnu's sons, viz., Manmatha (with his wife Rati), 
Eusa, and Lava. 

Chap. VIII. Brahmi and his wife Sarasvati. 

ISVAP^. -43 



Isvara {ff^ourm the lord) is regarded f^s the chief aiQO^g the MummGrt- 
tis by the majority of the Tapail people. He is represented by manifold 
images, and has almost in every pagoda a somewhat different form and 
another name, according to his many appearances, Most frequently, 
however, he is represented by a human figure in a standing posture, 
with four arms and hands, two of which he lif^ up, holding in one a deer 
fknd in the other a uiQ^ Marhu, i. e. i^ battle-axe,* and two be keeps 
enjpty. Nearly all their gods they represent by human figures with two 
hands empty, to indicate that they are always ready to comfort and to 
give blessings, as soon as they are asked to do so. isvara's whole body 
is white. On his bead he wears a crown, and on his forehead he has three 
vrhite streaks made with cow dung, and a dot, representing his third eye. 
On his ears, iieck, breast, arms, and feet, he is adorned with various 
jewels; and from his shoulders garlands hang down« The upper part of 
his body is uncovered, and round his waist he wears a motley doth, with « 
girdle, as well as other ornaments ; while a sLDeoLfiLuth Eamalapushpa, 
i. e. a lotos-flower, forms his stand. Thus he is found in the pagodas, and 
carried about at festivals. But he is also represented as sitting on « 
hull, together with his consort Parvati. The bull on which he rides is 
called ifte^uih fiishabha (bull or ox), and fs/sfi^ss^oijek NantlikSsvara, 
of which much is written in their books, and which may be seen in all 
pagodas that are built in honour of Isvara. (In front of the larger ones, 
■ he is under a portico in a lying posture with his face towards the 
temple), f 

^ The leMOD why Isvara or Siva holds a deer and a battle-axe in hit han^fl 
J8 stated in the '* Saiva San^iya Yina Yidai" as follows : ** In olden times Mab^- 
siva^ for a certain reason, visited the Daruka-forest in the foim of a religious 
beggar. The wives of the Kishis (ascetics) seeing his beauty, fell in love with 
him, and were in danger of losing their virtue. When the Rishis ohserved tl^ 
they got very angry, and tried to destroy the stranger. First they digged a pit, and 
made, by their magical pow^r, a tiger come forth out of it, which was to tear their 
enemy to pieces ; Siva, however, killed him, took his skin, and covered his body 
tlierewith. Then they made a deer come forth ; hut he took him, and has held 
him ever since gracefally in his left hand. Then they produced a red-hot iron, 
named Marhu, and ms4e it fly towards their enemy, bat he took this top, aqd 
has ever since kept it as weapon in his band." 

t How did Siva come to ride on a bull f In olden times when Dharmadeva, the 
god of justice, saw the fall of Brahma and Yishnu and the rest of the gods, he came 
m the form of a buU to Mahasira, worshipped him and said : '* Lord, be pleased to 
acoept me as tiiy bearer, that I may be preserved from death ;*' upon yvh^ch Siva 
graciously ac<^pt#d of him i^ his v^h^e. S^iya Samaya Y. Y. 


Most of these heathens consider Isvara to be the highest god, and one 
with Siva^ and give him therefore also such names as express divine 
perfections, and worship him as, or rather instead of, the one true God. 
And setting aside his many appearances, they, indeed, speak and write 
of him, as if they were speaking and writing of the true God. Bat as 
regards the stories concerning his appearances, which are related in their 
Purtinas (their secondary religious writings), nearly all of them are very 

They relate of him no less than 1008 appearances, mentioning the 
kingdoms, cities, and spots, where they have taken place. All these 
places are considered to be very sacred, and they contain large pagodas 
and fine tanks, and are frequented by many pilgrims, especially at 
the time of the festivals, which are annnally celebrated at every one 
of these places, when also the story said to have taken place at the loca- 
lity is acted. In every one of these 1008 spots Isvara has a special 
name which is usually related to the story of the place. There is also 
in every one of them a book (the local Pur&na), in which the 
story said to have happened at the place is described, and from time 
to time read and acted in the pagoda. His names are numerous and 
multifarious, owing to his many and multifarious appearances, and they 
ought to be known ; for he who does not know them, thinks that these 
heathens worship in every place an other, a different god, inasmuch as 
Isvara has almost in every pagoda, and almost in each city, town, 
and village another name. His principal names are the following : 
] . ^fi/or Siva, (the blissful) ; 2. u>sir&^ar Mabasiva (the great 
Siva) ; 3. uffiD&eaar Paramasiva (the celestial Siva) ; 4. ^^tr^aiek Sada- 
siva (the eternal Siva) ; 5. Q^ir/rd^is/numm Svarganllyaka (the lord of 
heaven) ; 6. mCsB^^jrar Mah^svara (the great lord) ; 7. g^nemm Isanan 
(the universal ruler) ; 8. ^Q^fiirar Rudra (either the furious, or the 
disperser of tears, ex (^ji to weep) ; 9. ^ififfff^Fs/rek ChandrasSkhara 
(the moon-crested) ; 10. untCfi^ar Mad^va (the great god) ; 11. ^udr 
Kara (the supremely powerful) ; 12. mikfiQ^^^am Nandik^svara (the 
bull-lord) ; 13. iSmp(^L!^ Piraistldi (the new moon-crested) ; 14. siT€B 
Qunt^iTLf. KSLliyodadi (the dancer with Kali) ; 15. ^nmn^^Qprr^fi Tanda- 
vamurtti (the dancing god) ; 16. uiTirQifiQsirQ£/B&r Parvatikorhunan (the 
husband of Parvati) ; 17. ^u>w^Qfiar Umasahita (he who is united 
with Uma, i. e. F^rvati); 18. ^wefliisffinuai Kalingaraja (Kalinga-king); 

19. /s(^^mps€aru.^ Nanchuraikanda (he who had poison in his throat); 

20. tsirfftuirsar NaribhS,^a (the female-sided) ; 21. ^q^m^eods^m Aru- 
n&chalanSsa, the lord of Arunachalam, lit. the red hill lord) ; 22. .jyfiar 
mui^>$n^ir AnnEmalainitha (the same at 21) ; 23. ^Q^fitr^eo^tpn/sfi 
Vriddachallamtlrtti (the round hill god) ; 24. iSar9»fifuirsfT Pillaityaga 
(the child-giver) ; 25. ^®«irdr Sankara (the author of good, ex ^i2>, 
good, et tfiTflSr, maker) 26. Q^ffdjsisirjsear Chokkanatha (the handsome lord); 

27. mCt^^eSr Nad£sa or isQL^^oiaar Nad^svara (the dancing lord); 

28. ^m^ifiT/sm Visvan&tha (the lord of the world) ; 29. sirmr^fiujuu^ 



(the Kalastri-father) 30. A/f ^u/r^/f^^ GhitambaramGrtti (the god at 
Chellambram, lit. the supernal sky form) ; 31. Q^^^mi^uS^n Seujata- 
yisa (the red-locked lord) ; 32. C/fa/lo€bo^ DSvamani (the divine gem) ; 
33. vsnihugm £k&mbara (the only supreme one) ; 34. si^fm Kadavul 
(the supreme being) ; 35. uff9u>*^ffek Param^vara (the sublime lord) ; 
36. uiBQojfi Pariy^ri (the horse-rider) ;* 37. ^thtSvnsBuiraar Ambikab- 
haga (the Ambika [e. i. Par vati,] -sided); 38. ^ira-zi^irm/rdsir^^euir S&m- 
daraikkattavar (the protector of them who take refuge with him) ; 39. 
QmpQiuiresr Iraiyon (king) ; 40. ^aal/ Sambhu (as a contraction of 
^lULDL^f the self-existent) ; 41. QuQiuffi^ai^ (the dancer with a demon) ; 
42. Quiraaaatsa^iC/fwdr Pongaravanindoii (he who is adorned with a 
raging serpent) ; 43. Lfan/i^sm Pur§,ndhaka (the city destroyer) ; 44. 
^^/sir^ar Bhtltanatha (the lord of the demons); 45. «fi«»«<?fi;<nf)aiCBr Gan- 
gav^nian (he whose heir is adorned with the river Ganges) ; 46. (^arp 
tSeo^ Kundravilli (the hill archer, as having made Mount M^ru his 
bow) ; 47. ^Bianwrn EankSLla (the bone-wearer) ; 48. ^(B^€oafum Ka- 
dukkaiyen (he who wears a garland of the Cassia fistula) ; 49. « otmR 
@£f Kannisudi (the garland-wearer) ; 50. LoAmsuirstk Mangaibhaga, 
(the virgin-sided) ; 51. unkQ^ek Munn5n (the ancient par excellence); 
52. ieoscirL^ek Nilakanda (the blue-throated) ; 53. ^Qf^uaeom Nirmala 
(the spotless) ; 54. (^eoutreniltuek SUlapS,niyan (the trident wearer) ; 55. 
u€rufi Pasupati (the lord of soub); 5Q, «^L.&D<£//rtfL Sudalaiyadi (the dancer 
on the place where dead bodies are burnt) ; 57. sireosireoar Ealakala (the 
Kala or conqueror of Kala, i. e. Yama, the king of death) ; 58. suir^^ 
Kai^li (the skull- wearer); 59. €»ssd^ujireB Kailaiyali (the lord of Kailasa); 
60. ^€ou)ffSL^^&r Alamarakadavul (the banian god) ; 61. i8^fituar Nitya 
(the eternal one) ; 62. u^^Qps&r Panchamukha (the five faced) ; 63. 
ufforuiraSi Parasupani (the battle-axe wearer) ; 64. ^isfiQimrcurek Andi-* 
vannen (the twilight-coloured) ; 65. QpsamrcsBrek Mukkannen (the three- 
eyed) ; ^. uirmu^Asm Pandaranga (the dancer or actor in the uni- 
verse) ; 67. ^iBi^er Ananda (the blissful) ; 68. ^m^Qpi^ Jatamudi (he 
who is crowned with entangled locks) ; 69. ^iBifiisirjsat Anandanatha 
(the infinite lord) ; 70. mihuar Namban (the supremely desirable) ; 71. 
iBiTjgar Natha (the lord) ; 72. ^pun^k Tarbaran (the self-existent) ; 73. 
LDir^neo^irpfi Magn&lamurtti (the great lord of the world) ; 74. mdeek 
Nakka (the naked) ; 75. o/irair Vara (the giver of gifts) ; 76. unre^L, 
QLDthfi Manidamendi (he who holds a deer in his hand) ; 77. uimpQppeo 
Maraimuthal (the author of the Yedas) ; 78. QujirQ Yogi (the ascetic) ; 
79. c^irfi Jyotis (the light) ; 80. tSffu>ar Brahma (the supreme one) ; 
81. tS(^(g^s&r Pingaga (he who wears matted hair) ; 82. tS^suirafi 
Pinakapani (the trident bearer) ; 83. ublhot Parama {the highest) ; 
84. crmrQL^irarm Endolan (the eight-shouldered) ; 85. u>irQ€0€Offp€u/r 

* In connection with this name the following story is related : The poet M&ni- 
kjavachaker, minister of the king of Madura, got from his master a large snm of 
money to buy horses ; hut he gave the money away to pagodas and devotees of 
Siva ; upon which the god changed 10,000 foxes into horses for his devotee. 


Masillithayar (the spotless) ; 86. LftQw^mir^i BhuvanSsmiAiha (the lord 
<^ the world), 87. siriuirajrircmir K&yaronar (Siva*9 name at Negapa- 
tam); etc. 

As regards the stories concerning Isvara, they are so numeroixs that 
we could write volumes of them, if we were to compile them from their 
books. We have, however, no intention to do so in this genealogy. 
But we must remark that amoi^ those stories there are many relating to 
kings who ruled in the different countries of India. For these kings 
had always poets at their courts, who sung their praises and represented 
their deeds as wonders, in consequence of which many of those kings 
were deified, under the pretext that they were forms of Javara himself, 
who at different times ruled here and there as king and did much good* 
And inasmuch as especially the ancient kings of Q^emskL^^m Sera- 
mandala, i. e. the S^ra country (in the south-west of the Penin- 
sula), and uir'^u^iDGOBrt^^dui P&ndimandala, it e. the Pandia country 
(in the south-east), and Q^nffitnean^e^ih ChQlamandala, i. e. the 
Ch5la country (north of the latter), built splendid pagodas and tanks, 
and encouraged the worship of idols in different ways : many of them 
have been deified with their own names, as forms of Siva, more espe- 
cially because nearly all of them are said to have died no natural death, 
but to have entered into a Linga, and that \n the pinBsence of many 
persons ; from which the conclusion was drawn that they were fpriBf 
of Isvara himself ; wherefore also pagodas were erected in th^jr honpqr, 
and called Isvara pagodas. Thus the number of his pagodas has been 
greatly multiplied : there are in the first place, the 1008 princip^ 
pagodas at the spots where he is said to have appeared ; and in the 
second place, a pagoda has been built in his honour almo9t in every 
town and every larger village. The images to be found in these pago«- 
das ai^ the following : 1. the Linga, standing in tl)e innermost part of 
the pagoda, and being adored daily three €mes with offerings, meant 
in honour of Siva and Sakti, i. e. Isvara and his wife. 2. Isvara's image* 
called miuir Ayer, the lord, and having the form of a man* This, too, is 
adored with offerings not only at festivals and fa3t8, but also on other 
days. 3. Parvati's image, called jtfth^iD Ammai, i. e. lady, and 
adored in the same manner as Isvara. 4, ^sSlQ^^oitrek Vighnesvara 
5. m-uiSffiDoSiugsr Subhramanya with his two wives ez-dra^ia^flD/AYalliamma 
and Devayanai, 6. isikf^Qs^oin^ Nandikgsvara,by which not only a tflc^uth 
Bishabha, i. e. the bull of Siva, is understood, but also a form of his as 
man, in which he is said to have revealed many mysteries in this world. 
He is one of the nearest to Isvara, and receives therefore some adoration. 
7. 9jxu>u<:jTSf€airear Chitambaresvara, i. e. Isvara himself, represented i^ 
dancing, with his wife standing beside him ; 8. ^i^ffQ^^gek Cbandra- 
sekhara, i. e. likewise Isvara, namely the form in which he is carried 
about at festivals, riding with his wife on an ox. 9. ^mnnuneo^w Dvara- 
palakas, i. e. door-keepers, and ^mrCc^ir/rir&r Kund5dara, the bearer of 
Isvara*s umbrella. 10. mmiTeoL^srLQ Mahalakshmi, Vishnu's wife, a figure 


of stone, standing in a separate little temple and enjoying some adora^ 
iion. 11. fiBmrQi^^^aaniu^ir Tand^varanajanar, a man who, by his 
holy life on earth, obtained a place near Isvara, and is therefore adored 
with him ; 12. ^i^n^ifi^^fi SundaramQrtti,* also one of those who, on 
account of their holy life, have got a place near Isvara. 13. ^uuSir^m 
Bhairava, who b represented by a human form quite naked) and said to 
be an incarnation of Isvara himself. t 14. ^ififf^ffltuir Chandrto-S^riyer, 
i. e. the sun and the moon, represented in some pagodas by certain figures 
and images, and in others by two burning lamps. For, to a certain extenf^ 
these heathens worship also the sun and the moon, and make even offerings 
unto them. On Sunday a good number of them fast in honour of the sun^ 
which fast is called tBnuSpjfiiQtfimin^ff^w N&yiddukkirhamaivrata (Sun<^ 
day-fast) or simply is/raS^ N9,yiru (sun).} And so they have also fasts at 
certain phases of the moon.H But the other planets they adore only with a 

* Sundarer was, according to the Tamil Plutarch p. 96. 97, an Adisaiva Brah- 
min, born about 800 A. D. at Tirunavalur in the Camatic, and educated in the 
royal fanuly ; but on the day when he was to be married he began the life of an 
ascetic, visited many Saiva temples and sang their praises, and died Id years cdd 
at Tiravanji in the SSra country. He is said to have stayed the floods of the over- 
flowing riyer CavSry by one of hia hymns. 

t BhaiTaya is also often represented with the head of a dog, and the dog, though 
^herwise regarded as unclean, is his vehicle. 

X Formerly the sun was more generally worshipped. The celebrated Mantra 
(fbrm of prayer) Gayatri, which the Brahmins utter in t^eir daily worship, is ad. 
dressed to the sun. The meaning of it, by no means known to ail Brahmins, is as 
£c^oW8 : ** We meditate on that excellent light of the divine Sun : may he illumi*- 
nate our minds.*' On Sunday fast especially wom^ who wish to get male diildren^ 
and to be preserred^from tlie misery of becoming widows. Fasting on Sunday is 
also recommended for soro eyw ; and the Sunday is the best* day for taking 

II The moon with her phases is of great importance with the Hindus ; nearly all 
their feasts and fasts are regulated by the moon. 

j^garding the phases of the moon the Padma Purana gives the following ezpla- 
tiatioa : Daksha, the Son^in^law of Brahma, and one of the 9 progenitors of man* 
kind^ gaye 27 of his daughters to the Moon (in Indian mythology of the masculine 
gender) to wiyes, expecting that he would loye all equally. But the Moon loved 
one, called Rohini^ aboye the others, and dwdUed therefore only with her. This the 
others could not endure ; so they complained of their husband's conduct to their 
father, who ordered then his son-in-law to dwell with all his wives equally long. 
But he would not obey ; in consequence of which the mighty Daksha became yery 
angry, and cursed the disobedient son-in-law with the tenribfe sickness of consump- 
tion. Consec^uently the Moon grew less and less tiU at last he disappeared altoge«> 
^er. On this all the gods came and asked the mighty t)aksha to remoye his curse ; 
but he said he could not revoke it altogether, consented however to mitigate it, it 
the Moon would dwell eqnally long with every one of his wives; and the Moon, pro- 
mising to do so,was ordered to bathe in the river Sarasvati, by which he would recover 
atren^h to grow one fortnight, after which, however, he should again be subject 
to consumption for the foUowing fortnight. The Moon, therefore, dwells now with 
all his 27 wives, i.e. 27 constellations, equally long, but does ever since for one 
fortnight grow, and for another wane. 


few wordB.* 15. j^Q^t-^fid^uuneo^n AshtadikkupSllakas, i.e. the re- 
gents of the eight cardinal points, who enjoy also some adoration.^ ]6< 
^ti^u/fsiQp^ff Arupattumuver, i. e. the 63 persons who were taken visi- 
bly into bliss by Isvara, wherefore they are now adored with hyn in 
his pagodas. These last, however, are to be found only in very 
large pagodas ; and also the other figures are not all of them found in 
every pagoda ; for the pagodas vary as to size and revenues. Some of 
the images are made of stone, others of metal : those made of stone re- 
main always in the same place, whereas those made of metal are carried 
about in the streets at festivals on wooden vehicles, representing birds 
and animals. The large pagodas have large cars, on which the images 
of the gods are carried about once every year. These cars have 6 
wheels and the form of a tower, and on all sides there are carvings, re- 
presenting the stories concerning Isvara. At festivals when they are 
dragged along, they are adorned with shells and other things ; and on 
every one of them there are (besides the idol) Brahmins, dancing-girls, 
and musicians. They differ as to size ; some are very large, so large 
that for each one from 500 to 1000 men are required to drag it along. 
In connection with every large pagoda there are 5 cars : the first for 
Isvara, the second for Ammai or I^rvati, the third for VighnSsvara, the 
fourth for Subhramanya, and the fifth for Tandesvaranayanar ; and at 
processions they follow each other in this order : Vighn^svara, Subhra- 
manya, Isvara, Ammai, Tand^svara. 

Concerning Isvara's principal attendants, a heathen wrote us as 
follows ; **(^ear(:t^(r/sjrar Kundodara is the bearer of Isvara's umbrella, 
and also his messenger. His power is great, but he receives neither 
worship nor ofierings. Nandikesvara is Isvara himself, who was under 
this name in the world as a great saint and teacher. He has hia 
special festivals, gets ofierings, and is, in short, properly worshipped 
as Isvara. TandSsvara was a man who walked according to the will of 
the lord and served him very long most faithfully, whereupon he be- 
came wholly united with him ; and consequently we make images of 
him, place them in the pagodas, and adore them. For the god with 

* According to the astronomy of the Hindus there are 9 planets, viz. I. the San; 
2. the Moon ; 3. Mars ; 4. Mercury; 5. Jupiter; 6. Venus; 7. Saturn (to which 
the 7 days of the week are dedicated respectivelv); 8. Kstn ; 9. Rabu. The 
2 last ones are imaginary beings, by means of which the Indian astronomers explain 
the eclipses of the Sun and Moon. When namely the gods had obtained nectar hy 
the churning of the sea of milk, a giant called Sainhikeya, stole and drank some 
portion of it secretly. The sun and the moon, however, observed the theft, and in- 
formed Vishnu of it, who upon this got |yery angry, and severed the head of the 
giant from his trunk ; but because the giant had tasted nectar, both parts remained 
aUve, invisibly in the sky, taking now and then revenge on the sun and the moon 
by swallowing them for a short time, thus causing the eclipses of the sun and the 
moon. Saturn is regarded as a very unpropitlous planet. 

f Regarding the regents of the cardinal points see the fourth chapter of part IV. 


whom he is united enjoined that he should be worshipped like himself* 
The Dvarapalakas are two door-keepers who guard the entrance to the 
sanctuary of Isvara, and without whose permission no one can enter into 
his presence. Bhairava is a form of Isvara, worshipped more especially 
by those who practise the black art. The ArupattumGver [ among 
whom TandSsvara is the principal one] are devotees of Isvara, trans- 
ferred into bliss in a miraculous manner. 

The festivals celebrated in honour of Isvara are very numerous ; for 
at every one of the 1008 places where he is believed to have appeared, 
an anniversary of the event is celebrated, at which the respective 
story is acted. But two annual festivals, named ^(^dst^iuireBoru) Tiru- 
kalyana* (sacred wedding), and u>frirsifiP(^LD^^aru) Margarhi-tiruman- 
jana (the anointing of idols in the month Margarhi [Dec. -Jan.], 
when it is done with more than usual solemnity), are celebrated all over 
the land. The latter is grandest at Chitambaram (Chillumbrum); for 
it is celebrated more especially in honour of that form of Siva or Isvara 
which is called is<Su.^&r NadSsa, i. e. the dancing lord, as which he ap- 
peared at Chitambaram, where he danced in emulation with Bhadrakali, 
a terrible form of Parvati and one of the so-called Gramadevatas. 

Moreover, in honour of Isvara there are also various fast-days observ- 
ed r viz., 1, every Monday,! and particularly the Mondays in the month 
^irir^^ena Karttika (Nov.-Dec); 2, the thirteenth day from every new 
and full moon, called tSirCjSfre^tSir^ui Pradhoshavrata^ ; 3, the fi/^o^u J 
^uLf Varsha-pirappu, i. e. the New-year's day§ ; 4, a fast in the month 
inffQ Masi (Feb. -March), named Qoinn^^A Sivaratri, i. e. Siva's night ; 
when they watch the whole night and observe a very strict fast, which 
is. supposed to be exceedingly meritorious ; 5, a fast in the month ^ojeaSi 
Avani ( Aug.-Sept), called ^eaaH^eoui Avanimula ; 6, a fast for women 

* See a description of tkis festiral in chap, il of the appendix to part ii. 

t Monday is the moon's day, and the moon is associated with Siva and worn by 
3iim as a head-ornament. 

% Pradhosha is properly speakinf^ the evening- tide> comprising three and three 
•quarters of a mn^amm Nadika (an Indian hour of 24 minutes duration) before sunset 
:and the same after ; which time is considered as auspicious for the performance of 
■sacred rites, and in particular the Pradhosha on the 13th day from the new and 
full moon, for the following reason : When Siva had swallowed the poison arising 
from the sea of milk when churned by the gods for Nectar, he lay motionless on the 
ground from the 11th day of the lunar half-month till the Pradhosha of the 13th day, 
vben he sprung up, swung his trident, and danced bis divine dances, 

§ The Tamil year is a solar year according to the Vakya system ; it begins with 
<x about the 11th of April, and the names of the twelve months, of which every one 
i>egins about the 1 1th or 12th of our months, are, beginning with the month that corre- 
sponds to the greater part of April and tlie smaller of Hay, as follows : 9^mw Ghitra- 
'm>mmr9 Vaikasi, ^s^ Ani, «s<9- Adi, c^*'"'' Avani, LiirtLturSi Puraddasi, a?*^^ Aippasi* 
-mri^fitoM Karttika. uriJtsifi M&rgarhi (Marga) ; m^ Tai* <orfi Masi, Lid>(Sf«fi Bhanguni 
^Bhalguna). The Telngu year is a lunar year, beginning with the new moon which 
preceds the Tamil new-year, and every month commences with the new moon. Also 
the Tamil people regulate all their festivals and fasts according to lunar days, each 
4>eing called fi^ Tithi. 



in the month quu& Aippasi (Oct. -Nov.), called Qs^niB^ff^ui Eddari« 
yrata. From the observance of these fasts great benefit is expected ; 
but, as a rule, they are not strict fasts ; one regular meal besides milk 
and sweet-meats being allowed ; and most of them are not observed by 
all the followers of Siva, but only, by the Brahmans and those who are 
called Saivas par excellence. 

Speaking as we are of fasts, we must here also mention the fasts which 
all sects among the Hindus observe in behalf of their deceased parents, 
brothers, sisters, children, etc. For a child a partial fast is observed for 
eight days, and for a grown-up person for sixteen days ; and on the 16th 
day the nearest kinsman of the deceased (the eldest son for father and 
mother, etc.) offers, with various ceremonies and Mantras, rice-cakes and 
water with the sacrificial grass ^q^uQu Darbha to the manes of the 
deceased alid his ancestors, and distributes, for their benefit, presents to 
Brahmans and alms to the poor. This is called s^r^Lan/k^au) Karmantara. 
But herewith all is not ended : the fasts and the various rites are repeated 
on every thirtieth day from the day of decease for the first year, and 
this is called uifr&su> Masika (the monthly); and then again at every 
anniversary of the decease, which is called Pfi Tithi. Moreover, a fast 
is observed and all the various ceremonies are performed in behalf of the 
dead at every new-moon, which is termed ^uhtwitQ Am3,vasi. And in- 
asmuch as the welfare of the deceased is supposed to depend on the 
performance of these rites, it is the supreme desire of every Hindu to 
get a son who is to perform them for him.* 

As regards the books written in honour of Isvara, they are very 
numerous. There is, in the first place, a set of sacred Sai va* works, named 
^sLDiEisar Agamas, twenty-eight in number, containing copious direc- 
tions for the various rites of worship and much other abstruse matter not 
deemed proper to be read by the vnlgar. There are, further, many so- 
called local Puranas, which contain the stories said to have happened 
at the 1008 places sacred to Siva ; and there are, moreover, the great 

* The funeral ceremonies, more especially with the Brahmans, are exceedingly 
numerous and complicated. When it is evident that a Brahman is about to die, a space is 
prepared with earth well mingled with cow-dung, and strewed with the sacred Darbha 
grass, and over it a pure cloth spread, on which the dying man is placed. Next, 
the chief priest, called Purohita, performs for him a Prayaschitta, i. e., a general 
expiation, by the efficacy of which he is delivered from all his sins. After this 
the ten gifts (Dasadana) are prepared. These consist of cows, lands, millet-seed, 
gold, butter, clothes, grain of various kinds, sugar, silver, and salt, and are 
offered to Brahmans on the day of the funeral. Of course, the more valuable 
of these things are distributed by the rich only. The last breath being breathed, all 
who are present must weep for a reasonable time, and then the chief mourner has to 
perform various ceremonies, till in due time the body is placed on a litter, and cfipried 
to the place where it is to be burnt, the chief mourner marching foremost with fire in 
a vessel, and others following. Having arrived at the place, they dig a trench of 
inconsiderable depth over which the funeral pile is errected. The corpse being placed on 
it, the chief mourner makes the sacrifice called Homa and other ceremonies, after 
which he sets fire to the pile and retires with the company, while the four bearers 
remain with the corpse till it is consumed. For further particulars see the Abbe 
Dubois* work on the Manners and Customs of the Hindus, page 209, etc. 

IS VARA. 51 

LrBM€ur(bMmt PaiiLi»8 (seoondary sacred writiap), which ix^j for 
the greater part, of Isvara.* Of the local and the great Poranaa, 
and other Saiva books, those best knowoarethe followiag. 1, €airfi 
^t^ffir€mu> yadavtir-Panliia,t which contains mapj stories about Isva- 
ra at Vadavflr) where he appeared aa teacher of Q^mmmi^ iSffmitniui 
Tennavan — Brahmai&jar (the writer of the Manikyavftchaka), who 
qpent an immense sum of money in building pagodas and tanks, and 
&d many miracles by the help of Isvara. } 2, x£^/fi«fivt.t/ir/raerLD 
Markanda«>Parana> in which is related the story of a Brahman's son, 
who was destined by iBvara to become only 16 yearo old, that is to aay, 
to remain always 16 years old, witiiout dying. But Yama, the king of 
death, not knowing in what aense he should become only 16 years old, 
came to fetch him when he was of llmt age ^ upon which Isvara came 
forth out of a Linga, and killed hiBH restored him however afterwards 
again to life, in consequence <^ the intercession of the gods. <3. ^^ 
ffWjifiifiLfiNrmrai Stvar&tri-Pur&na, containing the story that gate occa- 
sion for the annual fast of this name« 4. QaifiiuLfjrima^ Periya^PcrSna 
L e. the large Purana, contiuning many sUMies about Israra^s 63 
special devotees. 5, tOQ^^ir^^^Lfffffmrio Vriddhichala-Purana contain* 
ing the stories that |ire said to have happened at ynddhSfchala. 6, 
msiri^Lfffffmtui Skanda-Purana, which contains, among other stories, one 
about Isvara's marriage with I^vati; and one about (^ausjtu^k SHra- 
padma, who, by severe penance, obtained great power from Isvara, 
but became afterwards tyrannical, in consequence of which ^e goda 
had a great war with him, in which he was finally slain. 7. ^^CatA 
ML^Lfffirmni TiravSnkada^Purana, containing diffuse stories about Isva- 
ra at TiruvSnkada.§ 8, tDMisnaLfoirmnh Madura-Purana, which is also 
called ^£iiujiM!ifir^^htiutrL^0»LfffwmriD Arupattun&lu-vilaiyadal-Purana, 
because it contains an account of the 64 plays of Isvara as Sorkana- 
yaka at Madura.|| 9, vm/nhuffKir^d^eoir Ek&mbaranatha-ula, processioii- 
hymns about the wonders which Isvara did as Ekambaranatha. 10, 
9/gtiufftDir3k» Chitambaramala, a collection of hymns about Isvara's 
deeds at Chitambaram. 1 1 , fi(^tuir^(^mir TiruvarHrula, relating his deeds 
as flajirsffiriuffTjiLgtn}B, in Tiruvarfir. 12, stiuff<:ffirmr(^eoir Ktyaronar- 
ula, relating his deeds as K§,yar5nar at Negapatam. 13, ^fi^oQuir^sti 
Uttiurab5tba, settir^ forth his praise and mighty deeds as iDnSeotruf^ 
Ljq^mf^ar Mailaf^-purusha at St. Thome (or MaiiapGr). 14, ^«ir^i^ft» 

* Of the Puranas the Saivai claim 10, tie., the Saiva, Skfinda, Linga, Kurma 
V&mana, Yaraha, Bhavighyat, Matsya* H&rkandtya, Brahtnanda ConceniiDif the 
Pur&nas in general see Wilson's Introduction to the Vishna-Purana ; and concern- 
ing the V€das and S&stras Colebrooke's Essays on the Religion and Philosophy oC 
tiie Hindus, and Max Milller*s History of Ancient Sanscrit literature. 

t The Vadavur-Purana is of considerable historical valu^ as regards the Tamil 
Buddhists. See Taylor's Catalogue Raisonnee HI. 135 etc. 
' i See the note on page45. 

§ The temple at Tinivfinkada or Tripatti was taken possession of by Rftm&nigaybr 
Vmnu in the twelfth centuiy. 

Jl See Taylor*! Orient. Man. I. 117 etc. 



»90ff€i^wkmft^ AAtt&mdliiiiidiA-rftiitiiMD, I. e. AdH&niiMii&tfcftV odd. 15, 
9minBQuiflh^^9mu> 8v&mipSrilvai^nadi, !. ^^ o^ on the lord. 16> 
umowm^iuiMwd^ FftrBinarahMyftaAkH contstoiog 100 hymns in honor of 
Siva (by Namasiviytt). 17, Q^^^itm^mn^unh TedDmdavSohalbs In which 
is related how Isvar« revii^ed a oertain king^s son at Uriyar, o<rer whose* 
body a carriage had gone, because his own eaifriage had gone over i^-calf. 
18, ^Q^mitBAajm^ff^ ArdXiagiii-antadi, coiftaining 100 hymns about Id- 
viara, ia which the end of every line forms the beginning of the follow- 
ing one. 19, Oi§^*€0^,^m Nenchuvidudtitya, setting forth Isvara^s 
praise. 20, tu^uu^sr Varhipattu, a poetical oomposidon which itf 
chanted wiien some body dies, as it cootuns prayers to Isvara^ that be 
nmy soothe the pains of death and receive the soul into bliss. 21,^ ^^ 
mnmmi in Kteikh&nda (a part the Skatida-Pur&na), in whi^ are relat- 
ed the wonders snd to have been petfbnned by Isvara-aft l^toi, ie,^ 
Benai^s. All these and such like books are written in poetry, and 
very generally read by groWn-up people as wefi^as taught in ^e schodflt 
and learned by heart by the children, who^ however, are seldoor 
made to understand them* : 

Begarding the place where Isvara dwells, they say that he is 6v^- 
where, aiid HMt nothing can entlose inm, but that notwithstanding tlii& 
Mount Kail3sa is his special imndence. Once he gave away the 14 
worlds and aU other glory to the : giant (j^irm Scura, because <^ hi&seveie 
penande for 2000 years, and kept nothing, not even a place of residence^ 
fbr himself, so that he had to ask Sura for a dwelling place, whereupdik 
he returned to him Mount Eallasa, which is described as being ex- 
ceedingly inagmfioient, according to^ the fanciful imagination of thede 

In conclusion of tliis chapter, we quote now a passage of a letter aboat 
Isvara: *^ How Isvara has originated f^om eternity, cannot be investi- 
gated; for his origin is too high to be comprehended by any <«e. It is 
sUbo nowhere written how he has originated, and hew &r his m%ht and 
glory extends. Neither man nor any other ermture can know hoir 
he has originated. As r^ards the place where be dwells, it is far 
above the 14 worlds^ and the 108 regions of heaven, and the 224 i^>bere% 
in a bright light, where there is a mountain of silver^ called KaOasa, 
and on it a throne of precious stones on which be sits. His w(Mrk is, to 
meditate on h<Aj things ; to give to all living creatures what they want 
for their sustenance; and to grant salvation to those who do good works 
And are virtuous. He needs neither food^^ior sleep. He is nill of love 
and mercy towards all creatures. Of his glory all gods *and all creatures 
give witness; and according to his will all are born and die.*' 

'^Without him nothing in the world stiris. The five faces, called 
firahma, Vishnu^ Budra, Mahesvaraand Sad&siva, are Isvara. He 
creates all, preserves all, sa^es all, causes all to die, and gives to all bliss. 
He is (he Lord who with his 5 faeee doeth all in all. He is invisible 
and immaterial, and at the same time also visible and material, and 
represented by many images. He is clothed with the sun and the moon. 


As often as he shats bis eyes and re-opens them, a new excellency 
of his appears. All the worlds cannot comprehend him. He alone has 
true existence ; he is the eternal one. According to his essential being 
and nature, he cannot be compared with any thing, nor described with 

'* As to the offerings that are made to Isvara, they consist in drink- 
offerings, meat-offerings, and burning of incense. The drink offering 
is made of cow-milk, melted butter, honey, sugar, lemons, figs, flowers, 
oil, etc. All these things, being mixed together, are poured on Isvara's 
head. The meat offering consists of milk, cream, butter, raw rice, boiled 
rice, and Tarfous articles of food, which are put together before Israra. 
The isoense is made of various aromatic spices, which are mixed and 
bmned in a^ censer on charcoals whilst the image of Isvara is three tkne» 
incensed therewiib. To him who senres him alwi^s, and worships him* 
in tiie prescribed way, he gives sidvation and exemption from future birth 
aoddeath^r* As regards the quei^ionwbeUier there be a difference between 
Siva, Radra, and Isvara, I answer and say, that there is no d^rence 
whatever among them< And though there are often in one pagoda 25 
igmres lo which o^rin^s are made, after all it is only one, the Supreme, 
who is honored therewith : and this is Isvara, is Rudra, is Siva, with 
ill the gods, who have their origin and their find in him. So it is 
written in our SlMStras. But we> do not all of us walk according to 
one rede ; we have different religions with special rules of worships 
God,^ the ^nreme Being, is said to have 6 faces, of whieh 5 are visible 
and mateiiw, and acccording to them all religious matters are regulated* 
But one of his faces is invisible and immaterial, and no one knows 
itsfbrmj its beginning and its end, for it is spiritual and ineomprehen*^ 
sible. When we come to know him according to this face, all plurality 
disappenv, and nothing remains but he who is the imperishable, spotless, 
holy, and only^od. Now we know Grod onfy aeoording to his 5 
tisiMe fiMes,~ and after them religious matters are regulated l^ way 
of similes. But when all the religious ada are performed with under^ 
standings then the similes are gradually over*stepped, and God is finally 
known according to his one true face." 

• As legards the doctrine of the tiansmigration of bouIb, to which Ziegenhalk's 
consespondent aUodes, see the eod of the appendix to part IV. 



levaraJa two Wives^ Pdrvati and Oangcu 

. These heathens ascribe to Isvara two wives, of whom the one ia called 
urirea^ Parvati (the moontaiii-born) and the other, mAmm Gaogaot 
smmsumur^JH Qangabhavani. As regards Parvati's origin, it is the same 
as that of the Sakti, of which we have treated in the 4th chapter of 
the 1st part. For just as these heathens make no difference between 
Siva and Isviura, so they make also none between Sakti and I^rvati. 
They say of her that she is the mother <^ all the worlds ; that she 
governs the universe in cor\junction with Isvara ; that die is the great 
goddess in whom all other goddesses are contained ; and that she is 
only metaphorically called Isvara's wife, being, in fact, an undefiled virgin* 

She is represented by the form of a woman with four arms and hands, 
two of which she lifts up, holding ip the one a ^u>(^^ih Tamarngam (a 
little drum), and in the other a uir^th Pasa (a cord) ; and the remain* 
ing two she bends and keeps empty. On her head she wears a crown, 
and on her forehead Siva's sign of sacred ashes. The colour of 
her body is green. Her ears, neck, breast, arms, hands, and feet are 
adorned with jewels and ornaments ; from her shoulders a garland hangs 
down ; and a flower is her standing-place. Of this description an 
image of . her, cast of metal, may be seen in the pagodas by the side o{ 
Isvara ; but she is also represented by other forms. 

PErvati has no pagodas of her own, but she is always w<»*sh]pped 
together with her hnsband in the Isvara pagodas ; and, strange so say, 
she has also separate little temples within the Vishnu pagodas, where 
she is adored under the form of an image of stone. In the former 
pagodas she is, moreover, daily worshipped together with her hus- 
band under the form of the Linga; and the offerings which she receives 
are of the same kind as those made to Isvara, only the forms of prayer 
are different. 

And just in the same manner as Isvara has many names, and is 
almost in every pagoda called by a different name, so has also PUrvati a 
great number of multifarious names, which ought to be known ; for other- 
wise other goddesses will be understood by them. Her principal names 
are the following ; 1, ^drnm Ammai (mother) ; 2, ^jifl Sakti (energy), 
3, wLe»u> Uma ; 4, Q/ttO Dgvi (goddess) ; 5, mir^ir Mata (mother) ; 6, 
Qsar/fl Gauri (girl) ; 7, ^fftSi^^^mar Haranittaval (she who is Hara's 
left side) ; 8, sirt^dOmiriLi^jifi Kamakoddatti ; 9, ^liiSms Ambika ; 


10, ^irtiuMO S&mbbavi ; 1 1, m^ua^ismtfi Malaimadandai (the moantain- 
lady); 12, ^iSirirtB Abhirami (the beautiful one); 13, sffw/riLSl Kamakahi 
(the lady with fascinating eyes); 14, iB^C^ Minakshi (the fish-eyed) ; 
16, 9/sfiir^€o^ Chitrav^li (the choice lady); 16, SltusiriB Sivakami 
(Siva's beloved one); 17, a€k€^iuu>LDiTGr Kannyammal (the virgin-lady); 
18, unirumir Parabarai (the most high); 19, g^^ifl Isvari (the mistress); 
20, uffCLDsmiifi ParamSsvari (the heavenly mistress); 21^ ^Q^dnmL^ninuQ 
Akhilandanayaki (the mistress of the universe); 22, shi^^ Sundari (the 
lieautiful one); 23, ^^ Sati* (the virtuous wife); 24, «/ra^ Kali ; 25, 
#7/fics><s? Durga ; 26, ^irQpmt^ Chamundi ; 27, ^Cs/rir^^fi Aghorasakti 
(the Sakti or wife of Agh5ra [the terrible], a form of Isvara); etc., etc. 

There are many books containing stories concerning FSLrvati, and 
among those written morie especially in her honour the following may be 
mentioned : 1, ^t^irtnB oj/b^/rfi Abhirami-antS,di, a poem in which Ps,rvati 
is extolled as Abhirami (the beautiful); 2, ^LDi^msu>ir3ss> Ambika-mS,la, a 
book containing 30 songs in her honour ; 3, Q^&rik^iBeoMiB ' Saundari- 
lahari, a poem in which her beauty js extolled ; 4, SIqjsitu) Q^&nsjs/B 
Sivakama-saundari, a coUectionof songs setting forth the glory of Parvati. 
All these books the children at school learn by heart. 

Concerning Parvati one of these heathens wrote us as follows : " Parvati 
originated in the Supreme Being, when he desired to have a Sakti which 
should be the mother of all the worlds. She is regarded as a goddess, 
and as Isvara's wife, which, however, is to be understood metaphorical- 
ly ; for, in fact, she is an undefiled virgin. Siva and Parvati are called 
husband and wife, for want of other expressions that would enable us 
here on earth to form a truer idea of them. As regards Parvati's form, 
it is that of a woman ; but properly speaking, it cannot be said how she 
is shaped ; for she has such great power, that she can assume as many 
forms as she pleases. In brightness and splendour she surpasses 
10,000,000,000 suns. Her glory is unspeakable and cannot be compared 

* Sati is the name of Siva*s or Isvara's first wife, who was a daughter of the great 
progenitor Daksha. On a certain occasion the son-in-law treated his father-in-law 
with less respect than the latter expected, and therefore Daksha did not invite him 
to the great sacrifice he was about to make. Sati, however, went uninvited ; and 
when her husband was abused in her hearing, she destroyed herself in spite ; where- 
upon Siva produced the terrible Virabhadra who destroyed Daksha's sacrifice- (Fur- 
ther particulars concerning this story will be found in chap* v. of Part iii.) Having 
thus lost his wife, Siva did penance to obtain a new wife ; while Sati was bom again 
as the daughter of Parvata-Bajah (the mountain king) ; and being desirous to gain 
Siva as husband, she did penance to this end. In due time they became acquainted 
with each other through a certain devotee, and finally they were married with great 
pomp on mount Kail&sa- As the daughter of Parvata-Bajah, the le-born Sati is 
named Parvati* and by this name Siva's consort is best known. But, like her hus- 
band, she has a double character, a pleasing and a terrible one. K&li> Durga, Cha- 
mundi* etc. are conceived to be different terrible forms of P&rvati, and 
they are known and worshipped here in Bouihem India under the name of Grflma- 
devatas or tutelar deities, and supposed to bear rule over the evil spirits) and also 
to cast out devils. They are adored, and that with bloody sacrificesi more especially 
by th« lower orders. For further particulars see Part iii. 


with anything. Regarding your qnestion in what her work consists, I 
answer and say, it consists in looking graciously down on all men and 
all creatures, and in asking Isvara mercifully to support and to save alL 
She has tender compassion, love, and mercy towards all, doing always 
good to all ; and for them who love her, and helieve and trust in Her, 
she intercedes with God and procures them salvation. Yea, she inter- 
cedes for all men, and desires to save them in mercy ; for she is a gracious, 
merciful, loving, and kind mother, helping and saving all. As regards 
your question how many children she has got, I answer : Brahma, Vish- 
nu, Rudra, Suhhramanya, Vinayaka are all of them her children ; they 
are> however, not bom in the natural way in which human children are 
horn, but when Grod desired to have certain agents for certain offices, 
they originated, and were called her children. The offerings that are 
made to her differ not from those made to Isvara ; but the forms of 
prayer are different : Parvati, the almighty mother, has praises of her 
own. She gives to her worshippers great happiness, perfect enjoy- 
ments, much wealth, and continual health. In Farvati's and Isvara's 
honour an annual festival, called Tirukkalyana (holy wedding), is cele- 
brated, at which they are represented as bride and bridegroom. Those 
who then see and worship her, or distribute alms, get rid of all their sins." 

The secondary wife of Isvara is saenm Ganga, who is the river 
Ganges and the goddess of water.* She is represented as a siren, half 
woman and half fish, swimming on the water, and her two hands she 
folds as if engaged in prayer. On her head she wears a crown, and on 
her forehead the Saiva mark of sacred ashes. Her ears, breast, neck, 
arms, hands, and the rest of her body are adorned with various jewels, 
and from her shoulders a garland hangs down. 

* According to some accounts; Ganga was a foundling, reared by a fisherman. On 
her approaching to womanhood, Narada saw her, and reported her promising beauty 
to Siva ; who went disguised and saw her for himself. Signs, and at length words, 
were interchanged, ending in Siva's taking her to be his mistress. In consequence 
of this P&ryati became intensely jealous, soolded Qanga and remonstrated with her 
husband, who made then up the quarrel by placing Ganga in his matted hair, and 
telling Parvati that she was part of his own body. (See Taylor's Mythology, p. 41.) 

As stated on page 26, Ganga is also said to have filled up the ocean : — ^In ancient 
times the gods and Asuras (non-gods) were continually at war with each other ; and 
then once when the latter were overcome by the former, they fled, and hiding themselves 
in the sea, they meditated on revenge. Knowing that the world and even the gods 
are dependent on holy sages practising austerities, they resolved to destroy gradually 
all sages by night, and they did so, hiding themselves by day in the ocean. The gods 
perceived the mischief that was done by the Asuras, but not finding them out, they 
complained to Brahma, who told them that their enemies were concealed at the bot- 
tom of the sea, wherefore they should get the ocean dried up, which could be done 
by no one except the Rishi Agastya. Accordingly they went to the great and powerful 
sage, requesting him to help them to overcome the Asuras by drying up the ocean ; 
upon which he swallowed it ; and the enemies of the gods being beaten fled into the 
lower world. Then the gods requested the Rishi to fill up the ocean again, but he 
said, he could not do so, as he had already digested all the water. Thus there was 
for a long time no water in the ocean, till Ganga was entreated ofBhagiratha to descend 
from the Himalaya and to fill it up. 


There are no books treating especially of Oanga, but varions stories 
are related of her in the great poems and the Pur&nas ; and all books 
written for the purpose of shewing the efficacy of water in washing away 
sins, may be regarded as setting forth her praise. For though the river 
Ganges is Ganga par exceiUnce^ there are also other rivers which par« 
take of her sanctity, and whose water is regarded as efficacious in remov- 
ing sin as that of the Ganges. These arethe Jumna, Sarasvati, GOdaveri, 
KavSri, etc. And as not all people live near those rivers, devotees go to 
them, fetch from their sacred water, and sell it to the people* 

No image of Ganga is found in the pagodas;* nor is she, like P&ravati 
and other goddesses, worshipped with offerings: these heathens honour and 
worship her by bathing in rivers and tanks, according to prescribed 
rules, and with the recitation of certain forms of prayer. Bathing is 
thought to be particularly meritorious on Monday, Wednesday, and 
Saturday ; but there are also many other special days on which 
great merit is attached to bathing* In the river near Mayaveram a 
great number of people bathe throughout the month of October, in order 
to be purified from sin, and they have many such sacred places. At , 

Combaconam a great festival, called u>atru>stjo Maha-magha (commonly { 
inKunrm^LD Mamangam), e. i. the great Magha,f is celebrated every 
twelve years. For there is a great tank, the water of which is supposed 
to rise once in twelve years on a certain day and at a certain houri 
in which then many thousands of people, partly come from very 
distant places, plunge, supposing thus to get rid ot their sins. There 
are also two great festivals, at which very many people resort to 
the sea for the purpose of bathing in the same. The one occurs only 
once in 25 years, and is called ^ACfi/rjgajth Hasta-udaya (the appear- 
ance of the 13th lunar mansion) ; the other annually in May, and is 
named iDa^fio^mir&r Maghatirunal (sacred Magha-day.)| 

Ganga has various names, of which the following are best known : 
1. ojff/sfl Varanadi (boon-river) ; 2. ^/rmtS Jahnavi (as being regarded 
as the daughter of the giant Jahnu, who, being disturbed in his penance 
by her roaring, swallowed her, but emitted her again at the request 
of Bhagiratha; ; 3, ldib^itQ^ Mandilfini (the celestial Ganges) ; 4, 
fiiRufiws Tripataki (as supposed to flow through 3 worlds) ; 5, ^ir/Bfi 
Suranadi (the heavenly river) ; 6, uSjrfl Bhagirathi (as brought down 
from heaven through Bhagiratha) ; 7, smsnu^ff^SI Ganga-Bhavani ; 
8, smsirQfitO Ganga-dSvi (Ganga-goddess). 

* At the anniversary of Ganga*8 descent to the earth, some people in Northern 
India make a figure of clay, worship it, and throw it on the following day into 
the river, Imt at some places these figures are preserved in temples of day, and 
daily worshipped. Ward's View of Hindu Religion, p. 167. 

t Magha is the 10th lunar asterism ; and ICahamagha the occurrence of the full 
moon in or ahout this asterism with other astronomical incidents, which occur 
once in twdve years, and which time is auspicious for bathing, especially at 

t Peirticnlar merit is also attached to bathing in the sea at the time of an eclipse of 
the tun or the moon. 



^ Regarding hei^ origin tlie poets have written varionis stories, saying 
that she is worn by Siva in his hair-locks, and that she was brought 
down to the earth by Bhagiratha.* And one of these heathens wrote as 
concerning her as follows : *' Granga is one of the Saktis, dissolved in 
1000 faces in this world. She b^ame Isvara's wife in the following 
manner ; A very long time ago, when Vishnu adored Brahma with offer- 
ings and poured water on his feet, Ganga came down to the earth as a 
great flood. This the goddess of the earth could not bear, and there- 
fore she went in her great distress to Isvara, told him what had hap« 
tened,*and worshipped him ; upon which Isvara took Ganga and placed 
er in the locks of his head, that is metaphorically expressed, he married 
her. Ganga is now a great river in Bengal, expanding into 1000 
veins, which are her 1000 faces. She is the goddess of the water of all 
rivers. The adoration she receives consists in our bathing reverentially 
in rivers, according to prescribed rules, in eating only once a day» and 
ih praising Isvara, the preserver of all living creatures near rivers ; for 
he who praises him praised also her.f She has 8 virgins as play-mates, 
which are the following 8 rivers ; 1, &/b^ Sindu (i. e. we Indus); 
2, 4fiffa-^fl Sarasvati ; 3, lUQp^ar Tamuna (i. e. the Jumna) ; 4, /S0u>«t>js 
Werbuda ; 5, Qstr^n^^ God9.veri ; 6, ^irQ^jiB KUvSri ; 7, inarQar/fl 
l^anngri ; 8, aekeSena. Kannya} Whosoever bathes in these and other 
rivers at auspicious days and hours, and according to prescribed rules, will 
Ibe £Javed together with his whole family.'* 

* In Hie great epic poem Mahabh^rata there is an episode, in which Ganga is 
«^d to have assumed the form of a beautiful woman and to have been married 
|o king Santanu, by whom she had 8 children, seven of which she threw into the 
Ganges immediately after their birth ; but the last remained alive through the 
interference of Santanu. The eighth child was Bhishma, the celebrated leader 
of the Kaura army. 

: t Brery tank near the Saiva temples is regarded and adoned as Ganga> and 
bathing in it (be its water ever so dirty) is thought to be as efficacioas in r^ 
'moving sins as bathing in the Ganges itself. 

t Regarding the number and names of the sacred rivers, see the note in the 
Tafcle, page 6. 



. > 


Vighnisvwra, lavara'a Elder Son, 

Having treated, in the preceding chapter, of Isvara's iwd wives, wOs 
Bpenk now of his two sons, Vighn^vara and Subhramaoya ; but, first 
of all^ the reader should be told and bear in mind that, though thesf^ 
heathens ascribe to their gods wives and children, the learned among: 
tliem dimj^ that the gods beget children like men ; they say that such 
things when said of the gods are to be taken metaphorically ; the common 
pe<^le, however, believe the stories they read about them to be literally 
true. L 

As regards d^mQQK»^a<ak Vighn^vara (lord or remover of obstacles), 
several very di£ferent stories are related concerning his origin* Th^ 
Brahmans say, when Isvara was about to create the world, he made 
the plan of a quadrangular castle,and said the words: ^loeDdQQisdrQtffinu/sw^^ 
Om, Vighnesvaraya namah (i. e. Om, to Vighnesvara adoration) ; upon 
which Vighn^vara came forth and presented himself, and was accepted 
by Isvara as his son. Others say, Isvara and Farvati went tpgetheir. 
into the woods, where they perceived a pair of elephants copulating^ 
upon which they desired to have a son looking like an elephant, and in 
the moment they thought so» Vighnesvara came forth with an elephant's 

• Of Vighnesvara (and also of Subhramanya) nothing is heard before the two 
great epic poems, the Bamayana and Mahabharata. Nevertheless, he is tiow one 
of the favourite gods of the Hindus. As the god of wisdom he has an elepluint*8 
head, which, however, has proved a puzzle to those who desired to account f&t it; 
and thet stories concerning his origin are so various and so indecent that they 
cannot be toid. The most common is that above somewhat modi^ed : Once, when 
Siva and Fftrvati took a walk in the shady paths of Kailasa> they came to the great 
hall, adorned round about with pictures, where Siva turned the picture of himself 
into a male elephant and that of Farvati into a female, whose cop^ation x^ulted 
in the birth of Vighnesvara or Ganapati« the lord of the inferior divine hosts. He 
had, however, for a long time only a picture^xistence, till the gods, ill used, as they 
were, by the haughty giant Gujamukha (the elephant-faced), who had obtained the 
privilege that neither a god, nor a demon, nor a man, nor a beast, should be abld 
to kill him, thought of Ganapati, as the one who might kill the tyrant, seeing that 
he was none of the four, but a compound. Accordingly^ Ganapati went with all hia 
hosts to battle, and in the height of the combat, he broke his right tooth and threw 
it at the 6nemy, who, in consequence of this, tumbled to the ground, and became 
suddenly a great rat. Ganapati, however, not slow, sprang at once on the back of 
the rat, which has ever since been his vehicle. And the gods, being exceedingly 
thankful, for his deliverance, asked for themselves the favour to be allowed to make 
to him the same kind of compliment they were forced to make to the giant, viz. the 
C^rtiiLfisekn^ib Toppukkandam, which, hard as it is to be made, is now used as a 
meaus of punishment in native schools in honour of the god of wisdom. 



Vighn^Tarft is represeDted by an ugly figure, half man and half 
elephant, in a gittitag posture, with a great belly. His head is that 
of an elephant, and on it he wears a crown^ while his ears are adorned 
with two flowers and two jewels, and his forehead with sacred ashes. 
Of his four arms he lifts two up, holding in the left hand a ur^ih Fasa, 
!• e. a rope, and in the right a ^t^niB^ Kuth&ri, i. e. an elephant goad, 
and in the right one of his other two hands he holds a piece of his own 
elephant's tooth, which he once broke himself in a rage, and in the left 
ft pancake, for he is said to be fond of :^n^kes> Bound his ned^'he 
wears jewels of pearls and precious stones,' and likewise also on his arms 
and feet, and from his shoulders a garland hangs down. Thus is his 
image found not only within all the pi^odas, but also before the page* 
das, and in the streets, tf here, however, usually only half of his image, 
made of stone, is carved out, namely his elephant's head with its trunk 
and ears, together with his large belly. In some pagodas he is also 
found in a standing posture. 

Vighn^svara has in all the pagodas of Isvara a little temple, in which 
his image, made of stone or cast of metal, is worshipped with offerings. 
But he has also pagodas of his own, and that so m any that there is 
hardly a place inhabited by ft^iv^>jt yhArp. tbere^s not a pagoda in bbtiour 
of Vi ghngsy ara erected. These pagodas are small, usually consisting of 
one "building only, and not surrounded by a wall, but standing free at 
roads and streets where everybody passes by. As he is thought to be 
Isvara's most beloved son, he receives the same divine honour as Isvara, 
and has also similar names. In Isvara's pagodas, as well as in his own, 
o&erings are macle unto hina daily twice, thrice, or four times, which 
offerings do not differ from those made to Isvara and Parvati. Hja 

im9.gQ stands aUp .almost in every house, jind_ i? . adored^ tX^^ilJ£.^ 
women, usually only with devout miens and bows, but sometimes abo 
with oflerings and all the prescribed ceremonies, more especially 
then wheii ih^ are about, to bogin some thing important^nasmuch 
as they, believe that their affairs do not prosper, unless they are begun^ 
[in his. name*^ So, for instance, when they wishTto make a special oSdnng* 
to Isvara, they ask first his son to inake it prosper, and acceptable to 
his father ; and when they have done, they do not forget to thank him 
for his assistance. And there is hardly a book to be found among them, 
on the fir.Ht page of which there are not some words in honour and 
praise of VighnSsvara.* 

Like Isvara and all the other gods, VighnSsvara has various names, the 
most common of which are the following : 1, iSsr^tunn Pillaiyar(the son pctr 
excellence) ; ^, smruf^ Ganapati (lord of hosts) ; 3, Smirtuser Vinayaka 

* ViglinfsvaTft \b not yet married ; for he declared to his mother that he would 
take none to wife except one equal to her in beauty ; and such a one he has as jet 
not found, though he has every opportunity of beholding the damsels of the countr^^ 
seeing that he stands at the naost con spicuous places in the towns and villages, ana 
at the threshhold of innumerable tempIeV. ' - - -.. ■ 


(lord); 4, ^&9r(]^«ar«r AaaimokaTA (the elephant*faced) ; 5, (^^^ffdr 
Kunjara (the elephant par excellence^ or the exoellent) ; 6, ^mnium^^^^ 
Vin&yakamfLriti (lord) ; 7, (s^^ffQpmu.Quj/rm Kanjaramudaijon (the 
elephant owner) ; 8, Qujrc^eirreirtk Perarul&lan (the most gracious); 9^ 
QutnutufffiQtDOJtijmL^QiuitiT Poiyi,tameyudaiy5r (the possessor of pure 
truth) ; 10, si^fir<BiJnSardmtuffff Ktlttidum Pillaiyar (the dancing son); 
11, jim^^uit^Quiifi Angusap&samSndi (the wearer of an elephant goad 
and a cord) ; 12, ^unSais^htajm Ambika-tanaiya (Ambika's son) ; 13, 
fiihiSdutAiuar Tumbikkaijan (he who has an elephant's trunk) ; 14, 
QtLK^sutStBiudr Modakaprijan (he who is fond of rice-flower cakes) ; 
15, QpmQ^dr Munn5n (the elder [son]); 16, amssgdr Ainkara (the 
fi^e handed [the elephant's trunk being his fifth band]) ; 17, vffwumt 
Hdramba ; 18, mm»mm-^m Gangasuta (Ganga'sson) ; 19, Qpimmtmxar 
Mukkannan (the three-eyed) ; 20, g^^u>ni/Biak Isamanta (Isa's [L e. 
Isvara's] son) ; 21, MU(ip*dr G^jamukha (the elephant-faced); 22, 
^^^irmmm AkhuY&hana (he whose vehicle is a large rat) ; etc 

Among the annual fasts observed in honour of Vighnesvara, there are 
two principal ones: viz. 1, the iSfir&rojiri^jsr/f^^ ^Fillaiy^r Chaturtti, * 
when they fast for the purpose of getting understanding, wisdom, and 
knowledge, and carry VighnSsvara's image about in the streets, and 
worship him also in their houses. 2, iSar^iunirQiBtratu PiUaiy&monbu 
(1. e. Pillaiyar's fast), which they observe more especially for the pur- 
pose of obtaining Vighnesvara's blessing on all their household. On 
this day they make pancakes, which, after having first been offered to 
the god^ both in the pagodas and in their houses, are consumed by them** 
selves, when the time for fasting is over. Moreover, he is adored and 
bis image carried about in the streets at all the festivals of Isvara and 
Parvati ; for these heathens think highly of him, and believe that no 
offering or rite of worship is acceptable to Isvara, unless it is also made 
to his son VighnSsvara. He is believed to be omnipresent, but his 
special residence is said to be o n Mount kailasa near his rattier. ' ^'r 

AbOtIt Vighnesvara manylTtories havelBeW wriifeh in various books, 
which, though they are nothing but fables, these heathens believe to be 
true. Among the books that are written in his honour, the principal 
one is the Qoitpops^gj Verhamukhattu or iSardBriunn&iBgi Pillaiyarsindhu, 
which, contains prayers to, and praises of yighne8vara.t And that almost 
all their books begin with a short ode in his honour, has already been 

One of these heathens wrote us about him as follows : ''Vighnesvara 
is believed by us to be a son of God indeed. He orginated in the fol- 
lowing manner : Isvara and Parvati were once together beholding the 
world, when a pair of elephants copulated in their sight, upon which there 

* Chatnrtti means the fourth, viz., the fourth day after the new or full moon, 
which is sacred to YighnSsvara, and more especially the Chaturtti in the month 
Avani. (Aug.— Sept.) t 

t A more complete list of books about Vighnesvara is given by Murdoch in his 
catalogae, page 104. 


arose in them the deanre to have a son with ih^ face of an elephant, and 
forthwith sach a son was bom unto them » This is one version of his 
origin, and the other is as follows : Before Isvara created the world, 
be made a plan of a qoadrangalar castle, and said s '' Om Vign^varija- 
namah,'* upon which VighnSsvara orginated. And for this reason we 
have made it a rule to begin nothing, unless we have first praised and 
adored him. In all pur towns and villages we have erected pi^odas in 
honour of yighn(svtr% and when we are about to l ay the foundatio n of 
fttty pagoda or house , or celebrate a marriage, or send our children to 
school, or do any thing of some importance, we always first praise 
and worship him. His pagodas are, as a rule, every where built first; 
and that at the most frequented 'thoroughfares, and in some places four 
of them are found together at cross^ways, in each corner of the streets 
one, Vjghneavara namely keeps watch, lest eviljptrits c ome near ns>. 
He whoTast^ every Friday in his honour and ofiers him oocoahut^ may 
ask of him what he likes, and he will obtain it. Many songs of praise,, 
with which we are in the habit of praising him, have been written in 
bis honour, and many miracles are related of him. He gave sight to 
the blind who went into his pagodas and called on him in love and 
faith. In some places he appears in the form of a man, itl^gredicto^the 
calamity that is impending, and keeps it also off ; in consequence o( 
which he has received the name ^u^^s/r^/BiS&rdtrtunn A pattukatta * 
Pillaiyar (tj^p prr>tft< *,toi? in dan p ;er \ There is more espeoally a place, 
called Pothuvudaiyar, where many miracles are taking place in his 
pagoda. When some thing is stolen out of a house, and suspicion falls 
upon a certain man, the same is taken to the pagoda before Vighn^var% 
and forced to put his hand into boiling butter. If he is innocent, no 
harm is done to him, the hand remains as it was before ; but when he is 
guilty, his hand is burnt to ashes. Yighnesvara is Isvara's first-born 
and most beloved son, for which reason we have built pagodas in his 
honour, and |are in the habit of making unto him the first offering, 
which is called di^im/s^m^ Vinayaka-puja. Whosoever makes offer- 
ings to him, obtains good uuderstanding and wisdom, a good nature and 
long life, is free from poverty, and enjoys all good things..'* 



8ubhrci,7nanya, lavara's Younger Son, with his two Wives 

Devayanai and Valliammai, 

IsTftra's younger son is m-uiSauieaJtitusk Siibhramanya (the diaroood* 
like). He is as highly honoured as VighnSsvara, perhaps even higher^ 
Begarding his origin we are very much left in the dark, inasmuch as 
the stories about it differ greatly irom one another. According to the 
M/sLfffffearth Skandapur&na, he originated for the purpose of destroying 
the giant Sura (or Surapadma), who, by reason of his severe penance 
kr 2000 years, hud obtained power over all the worlds, and the privilege 
that neither Isvara nor any other god should ever be able to kill him ; 
16 consequence of which he became very arrogant, and treated the gods 
as slaves, till they, at last, prevailed on Isvara to make war with the 
giant* But inasmuch as S^ra enjoyed the privilege that neither Isvara 
nor any other god should be able to kill him, Subhramanya, a new god, 
with six heads and twelve arms, originated, and made war with him, 
and forced him to flee from the upper worlds to the earth, where he 
finally killed him, after which the victor returned to his abode of bliss.^ 

. * According to the oldest legends, Subhramanya, the god of war^ is the son ol 
Agni, the god of fire, and of Ganga, the goddess of water. Bat in course of time 
these his original parents were superseded by Siva and Farvati. Among the 
various stories regarding his descent from Siva^ the following is the least objec- 
tionable and also the most generally received here in the South. In order to induce 
Biva to make an end of the tyrannic government of Sura over all tlie gods, Indra, 
the king of the subordinate gods, did severe penance, by which lie obtained from 
Biva the promise that a deliverer from the tyrant, a god of war, should be bom, and 
become the husband of Indra's martial daughter DfvasCna, who is in the South 
Utoally called Bdvayanai. Siva, however, instead of begetting forthwith the pro- 
mised deliverer with P&rvati, his wife, as the gods desired, was pleased to begin the 
life of an ascetic. But in order to induce Siva to do what the gods desired him to 
do, Manmatha, the god of love, together with his wife Rati and his bosom friend 
Vasanta (the spring), watched him, and in the moment when F&rvati was before 
lto$ eyes coUcKSting flovem to adorn the Linga, the god of love wounded him with one 
of his arrows ; upon which Siva, enraged, opened his third eye, and burnt the god 
of love to ashes, but revived him again at the request of Rati his wife, decreeing, 
however, that he should henceforth be visible for her only. But Siva, though now 
in love, got no son by Parvati, so.that he was, after all, obliged to produce the pro- 
mised ddiverer alone; and the way in which he was produced is as follows: Siva 
emitted from bis eyes six sparks of fire, which, being thrown into the lake Saravana, 
became a\x in&nts, who were nursed by the witcs of the Rishis that are to be seen 
on the sky as the Pleiades ; whilst Parvati, frightened by the sparks of fire, fled in 
such a hurry that she rubbed her ankle-bones with each other, by which rubbing 
the nine precious stones were produced, which were then by Siva turned into ninp 
nreguant women, but subsequently cursed by parvati, that they should not be able to 
Dring forth children,- in consequence of vhich they sweat tffribly, and in thuir sweat 


Subhramanja U represented by an image with six heads and twelve 
arms. But because such an image is rather difficult to be made either 
of stone or of metal, he is usually found in the pagodas with one head 
and four arms only, of which he ^liffs two up, holding with them the 
celebrated Qeaeo V$l, i. e. the lance with which he slew S^ra, while the 
remaining two of his four hands are empty. On his head he wears 
a crown, and his ears, neck, breast, arms, hands, as well as the lower 
part of his body, and his legs, are adorned like those of the other gods. 
His standing-place is a flower ; to his right and left stand his two 
wives, and near him a peacock, his vehicle. In the Isvara pagodas his 
im^ige stands in a separate little temple, and receives daily special 
offerings, together with the Linga and Isvara. In the places where he 
is believed to have performed miracles he has pagodas of his own, and 
gets three times the same offerings as Isvara, vfz., drink-offering, meat- 
offering, and. incense. 

Subhramanya is worshipped by these heathens as if he were the t rue 
G od and Savio ur. They say that he is one with Isvara, so that who- 
soever worships him worships Isvara himself. He has therefore, like 
Isvara, names which, by nght, belong only to the true God. Amon^ 
those which are peculiar to him, and which he has got because of his 
deeds and miracles, the principal ones are: 1, mi/sek Skanda, or 
sm^»€oiTtS Skandasvami ; 2, OaiMiru^^ek Vsl&yutha (the lancer) ; 3, 
(^unrirmeainB Kuraarw-swami (the son-god) ; 4, ut^v^Q^wm Parhani- 
vSlan (the lancer oi Pulney [west of Madura] ) ; 5, ^^Qpmm Arumu* 
kha, or rmnpmm Shanmukha (the six-faced) ; 6, Qp^jstd^unrffdr Mut- 
tukkumara or Qp^^d(j^u>irjTSrCiirijS Muttukkumara-svamy (the pearl-son) ; 
7, (^a^as/rirQpff^fi S^a8amh3,ra-mUrtti (the destroyer of SUra) ; 8, 
(tp(i^s€k Murugan, or QpQ^suuek Murugappan (the younger [son]) ; 
9. QfiQ^Qx^ar MurugSsan (the young lord) ; 10, u>aSICeojSlQ€t€odr Mayile- 
rivSlan (the lancer who rides the peacock); 11, (^inirdt Kumara (the 
youth) ; 12, ^aCeaedek ViravSlan (the hero-lancer) ; 13, Q^^ufi Seiia- 
pati (the commander* in -chief) ; 14, Q^oisQuQ^iLir^ S^vakaperumal (the 
soldier-prince) ; 15, ^ffoimrm Saravana (as having originated in the 
lake Saravana) ; 16, st^um Kadamban (he to whom the flower-tree 
^L^u>Lfy i« e. Eugenia racemosa,is sacred) ; 17, (^ssdr Guha (he who 
dwells in a mountain cavern) ; 18, unrCiuirmuiQ^s^ar Mayonmarugao 
(MaySn's [i. e. Vishnu's] son-in-law) ; 19, C^iutrdr Ch^yan and Q^a^fk 

originated 100,000 heroes or demi-gods. After all, however, Parvati was pleased to 
look after her husband*s six children who were being nursed by the Pleiades, and on 
seeing them, she was transported by their beauty, and embraced all of them together 
so forcibly that their six bodies became one, while their six heads and twelve arms 
remained. Thus originated Subhramanya, who, owing to his having been nursed by 
the K&rtikas, i. e., the Pleiades^ is also c^ed Kfirtikgya, and thus he became the son 
of Parvati. The latter, very graciously, removed also the curse from those nine 
women, upon which they brought forth nine heroes, who became distinguished 
captuns in the army of Subhramanya, when he, at the head of those 100,000 heroes 
and other celestial hosts, fought with Sura and his hosts, slaying first Taraka, 
Silira*s younger brother, and finaUy also Sura in his fortress ViramayCndrapuri. 


CbSndan (the ruddy one); 20, cv«D#u40fir^i(?^/raryaraipagaTerindon( he 
who splits moantains by the thrusts of his lance) ; 21, O^ilxf Chetti 
(the merchant, as which he appeared at Madura) ; 22, ^amuisdi Hara- 
magan (Hara's son) ; 23, siimamLD/i/Beir Gangamaintan (Ganga's son) ; 
24, ^^irtk Asan (priest or teacher) ; 25, Cfi/zF^scar Vgodan (the king) ; 
26, fS^irsar yi8a.kha (as born under the Yisakha (the sixteenth lunar 
mansion) ; 27, airirflfiQstudr Kartikeja (as nursed by the Kartikas i* e. 
the Pleiades) ; 28, Qeouiuecr Silamban (the mountaineer.)* 

The Tues day ,^Qf&jQJinudQ^€»ui Mars* day ) i s the weekly fast-da y of 
the devotees of Subh rajnanya. And in the month of sirir/gfitma (Oct.-*- 
Nov.)) these heathens celebrate in his honour an annual festival, called 
s/kjg^t^i^ Skandashasti ; when they carry him about with music, and 
call on him to help them in all their troubles, and to destroy their 
enemies. t Moreover, at the places where he has pagodas of his own, 
they celebrate also special festivals ; at which the stories said to have 
happened at each place are acted. And besides this, he is carried about 
in tbe streets at the festivals of Isvara and Parvati, together with them, 
and receives also the same kind of worship and offerings, only with dif- 
ferent forms of prayer. 

Among the books that treat of Subhramanya the principal one is the 
sfi/sL^ffireaaruy Skandapurana, in which there is, besides his war with 
Sura, at great length related how he was sent by his father to frustrate 
the sacrifice of Daksha,j: who intended to place another god on the throne 
of Isvara, and how he was then, at the instigation of Daksha, delayed on 
his way by beautiful damsels, who courted and entertained him with 
song and mu^cr f or fae is'CTt^t^l)gTgfyT6nJoT theT ajr sex and ofm u" 
_8ic. Wherefore also thbsTgTfls who'^erve'In the pagodas, tlie so-called 
Qfi&j/BiT&s&r DgvadSisis, or dancing-girls, are betrothed and married 
to him, and then not allowed to marry men, though by no means pre- 
vented to prostitute themselves. Among the books written in honour 
of Subhramanya there are, besides the Skanda-purana, to be men- 
tioned : 1, Pd^uLfsyf Tiruppugarh, i. e. divine praise, in which more 
especially Subhramanya's deeds at Kalastri are extolled. Its author is 
^Q^cBsrQfR/BirjseBr ArunagirinSLtha, who, being at first only a mean, vicious 
drummer in one of Subhramanya's pagodas, became a great devotee 

• Subhramanya, the god of war, being fond of fortresses* monntainsj and hills, 
his principal pagodas are built on moantains> and during his festival in the month 
of Kartika (Oct — Nov.) bonfires are blazing on them in his honour throughout 
the land. 

t As the Hin dus prefer sons very much to 4aughters, the woman w ho is de sir- 

^us 01 getting aloh calls' (tfecordlng to Ward's "View ontlndii TfeT,^ on tne god of 

^waf~fn""TBe Tollowing manner. "0 K^rtikeya, give me a son, not a daughter, 

'JT win theq, , pffer to thee the best things.*' And in a conversation amon^ women 

'"such words as these may be heard. "Has your daughter-in-law as yet no children ? 


liuch words as these may be heard. "Has your daughter-in-law as yet no ^ildren 
Ah no ! only a girl 1 Xhav e already made many a vow to Kartikeya, but no 
I_yow once more before you all,' that if the god gives her a son,! will honour hi 
Iflth^elgreatest devotion^ and my daughterrin-law will do the same all the days of. 

^ Hegarding the sacrifice of Daksha see chap. V. in part III. 



of the god ; in consequence of which Sabhramanya is said to have given 
him great gifts, so that he could do miracles and write books, and that 
in verses so sententious and inimitable that the "poetB say, he did not 
write as one knowing the rules of prosody, for he was ignorant of them, 
but by the inspiration of the god. 2, sfB^ffjgg^fl Skand&nubhtiti (i. e. 
superhuman knowledge of Skanda), likewise a poem setting forth Subh- 
ramanya's glory and praise, by the same author. 3, ^u>irffiSar9Brfl(nysiriJoth 
Kumarapillaitirunama, a collection of songs in which he is extolled under 
the name of Kum&ra ; 4, (s^LDinraQuiffeoQtmrmru) KumllrerpSrilvannam 
along poem in honour of Subhramanya. All these books are learned by 
heart and sung after their proper melodies by the children at school 
and by other people. 

A devotee of Subhramanya wrote us about him as follows : *^ When 
and how Subhramanya originated nobody knows. But the tyranny of 
the giant SQra gave occasion for his assuming a form with six heads and 
twelve arms. This giant did for a very long time severe penance in 
honour of Isvara, who, at last, appeared unto him and asked him : 
** My son, what boon shall I give unto thee for thy severe penance ?** 
Sura said : <* I will have of thee dominion over all the worlds, and the 
privilege that in all the worlds neither a god, nor a king, nor any of thy 
own five faces, shall by any means be able to overcome me ;*' and Isvara, 
in consideration of his long and severe penance, gave him all he wanted. 
But then Stlra ruled over all the worlds as a t3rrant, making the gods 
bis slaves, and foi'cing them to do the very lowest and meanest ser* 
vices ; so that, at last, the gods went together to Brahma, in order to 
complain to him of Sara's tyranny. Brahma, however, sent them to 
Vishnu, and the latter advised them to complain to Siva ; whereupon 
they went to him, and he comforted them saying: *^Be not afraid, 
I will help you, and kill him f* and having dismissed them with his 
blessing, he consulted with himself, saying : Behold, I have given Sura 
the boon that not even I with my five faces shall be able to overcome 
and kill him, and what I have once said I cannot revoke ; but I will 
order Subhramanya to assume a form with six faces and twelve arms, in 
order to kill the t3rrant with his lance the Qoieo Vel. Accordingly, 
Subhramanya, after having received his father's blessing, went forth, 
riding on a peacock, to make war with Sura, and expelled him from the 
world of the gods, whereupon the giant sought refuge on the earthy 
but Subhramanya, having followed him there too, triumphed over him 
and killed him. 

*^ To Subhramanya various places are sacred, among which the fol- 
lowing are the most celebrated: 1, utpeSI Parhani (i. e. Pulney); 
2, »uiSiruiafiuju) Subhramanyam ; 3, sfHrsirmuy Kathirkamam ;* 4, 
i960-ci00^(^Lb<?a}^/f Pillirukkumvelur } 5, fi(T^dlmL^daffi Tiruvidaik- 

* Kathirk&mam or Kattregam lies in the south-east of Eandi, and is said to be 
the ouly place in Ceylon visited by the Hindus of the continent of India. 


karhi.* I n the se pla ces h e dwells in a qpfi^^l .manneiy ^?ll.^j!LCI£Kfi^ 
dwelling place is in bliss wTtlThis fathgj:. At Kathirkamam In Ceylon 
he'does manj miracles. TEe Moors (Maliomedans) there call him 
aflff/stS Kathirnabi^ and reverence him as a prophet, but we Tamil 
people call him s^nAirmCojeoit Kathirkamav^lar. The king of Kandi 
has chosen him as his favorite god ; and when something good or evil 
is about to happen to the king, Subhramanja appears to him in a dream, 
and warns him of what is to come ; and every thing happens accord* 
inglj* So, for instance, when his ministers or other malignant persons 
conspire against the king, Subhramanya reveals it to him, upon which he 
orders them to be taken prisoners and punished. Thus it has been of olden 
times. Moreover, when people go astray in the forest near that place, 
Subhramanja appears to them in the form of a young ^mif. And! 
/"religious mendicant), and says : "Come with me, I will shew jou the 
right way.'' and when they are on the right way, he reveals his real 
form, and flying in the air he disappears. Such and similar wondera 
many Moors and also many Tamil people have witnessed with their own 
eyes. Those who love him, and trust in him, experience his kindness 
in many ways. Whosoever i^proaches him in his pagodas, and asks 
iiim in love and faith, receives whatever he asks of him.f Wheju per- 
sons possessed of evil spirits are brought into his pagodas,^na ne is 
asked t6' dH\rd out the dgviTs^ he does so, sjidT tie insane become sane« 
WfiStgf^fT'pflfllegesliis devotees enjoy, may be seen from the follow- 
ing example : One of them, named Arunagirinatha, was a drummer 
in one otf his pagodas, and because he was always with him and serv- 
ed him with great devotion, he became a holy man. Then it happened 
once that the king came to worship the god. But Arunagirinatha, 
though he observed that the king was coming, did not allow himself to 
1)6 disturbed in his devotion and prayer to Subhramanya, and did not 
rise before the king to make his compliments. The king, observing hin^ 

* Besides these may be mentioned Tricbendfir in Tinnevelly, and Tiruppdmr 
(between Madras and Sadras)> which is visited by many people every month 
when the moon is in the asterism Kartika. Here Subhramanya, once when hunting, 
found a virgin watching her father*s corn, and carried her off; in consequence of 
which the people to whom she belonged made war with him, but with the help of his 
lather he overcame them. There is also a celebrated temple of his at St. Thome i 
and the temple-tank at Tirtani, about 50 miles north-west of Madras^ is even sup- 
j>o8ed to be identkal with the sacred Saravana ; wherefore very many people go 
there to wash away their sins in its holy water. 

t Here we are tempted to apply to the god the proverb : **Physlcan heal thyself,*' 
for he is said to have a continual headache, in consequence of which he has taken up 
his abode at Cnrtallam in TinneveUy, to cool his head at the water-fall near that 
place ; where all sorts of diseased people go in order to be cured by the god, who is 
supposed to be sympathizing with all sufferers, seeing that he suffers himself; and 
where with every visitor the first question must be : *' How is the god ?" Perhaps 
he has got his head-ache by studying too hard in times of peace ; for Subhramanya^ 
the god of war, is not a stranger to the sciences: once he took Brahma prisoner, 
because he did not know the meaning of the sacred syllable. **0m ;** and when 
ordered by Siva to let him free, as he himself did also not know St, he justified 
himself by telling the meaning. 


msked who he was, and ordered him to be taken prisoner, because he had 
not risen before.him. But his ministers said : ''Ob king, he is a favou- 
rite of Sabhramanja ; we had better not lay hold on him nor punish him.'' 
The king, however, said : ''Go and bring him here at once, whosoever he 
may be." Accordingly, he was brought to the king, who addressed him 
thus : " What kind of holy man art thou that thou wilt not rise before 
me ?" He answered, " I am]a poor beggar, understanding nothing." The 
king replied : " I hear thou art such a favourite of Subhramanya, that 
even I, the king, am not allowed to touch thee ; if this is true, then make 
thy god come here ; if not, I will order thee to be hewn into pieces." 
Arunagirinatha was then, for a time, shut up in a tent, in which he 
called on Subhramanya, till he appeared, riding on a peacock. The king, 
being informed of it, came, looked at the god, fell at Arunagirinatha's 
feet, honoured him greatly, and said, " 1 did not know of thy dignity ; 
pardon me for all I have done unto thee." Arunagirinatha wrote many 
books, which are learned by heart by our children at schooL The 
reason why we worship and adore Subhramanya is the fact of his being 
the son of the highest god, between whom and his son there is no dif- 
ference ; wherefore also our worship of Subhramanya is acceptable to 
the highest god himself. When we think of Subhramanya as the Su- 
preme Being, and call on him with a single heart, in love and faith, we 
receive from him all we desire." 

Subhramanya has two wives, viz. martSliuuimui Yalliammai and 
Q^iuGjiuirdbar DSvayanai. The image of the former is painted brown, and 
that of the latter yellow ; but each is represented in a natural form 
with two arms and hands, holding in the left hand a lotus fower, 
while the right arm hangs down. Each one wears also a crown on her 
head, and jewels in her nose, as well as the sign of the sacred ashes on her 
forehead, and is on the whole adorned like the other goddesses. These 
two wives of Subhramanya have no pagodas of their own, but stand 
in his pagodas, the one to his right hand and the other to his left. They 
partake of the offerings made unto him, and the festivals celebrated in his 
honour are also meant for them. There are aUo many people who fast in 
their honour every Tuesday. Both of them are mentioned in various 
books ; and about Yalliammai two special books have been written, viz. 
the euareiiujui€»u>Qeu€irunVB\\i2Lmmniyen]^^, a collection of 296 songs; and 
the Q/eirfi!^{Lf£2>u)^/fyalliammanar, a poem containing her history and a des- 
cription of her glory. And inasmuch as Subhramanya and others of the 
gods are said to have two or more wives, these heathens think it not un- 
lawful to have likewise two or more wives together.* 

• Polygamy, however, is not very frequently found in Southern India ; and 
usually when a man marries a second wife while his first one is still alive, it is 
because the latter is barren or has an incurable disease. But the first wife remains 
even then the mistress of the house, and the second is regarded as her younger sister 
who is to serve her. In the Kural (translated into English by Ellis) the women of 
South^India are highly spoken of, because of their many virtues. 


RegardiDg the two wiTes of Sabhramanja a heathen wrote as follows : 
'* When Sabhramanja had returned triumphant from the battle with the 
giant Sfira, he married D^vaj^nai, the daughter of D^v^ndra, in the 
world of the gods, with great pomp. Afterwards he married also 
Vailiammai, who was born of a roe, and brought up by basket-makers 
in a forest, where Subhramanya found her. The office of both of them 
ccmsists in giving children, in removing sickness and all sorts of troubles, 
in prevenUng devils from taking possession of men, and in casting them 
out At the great annual festivals they are carried about with Subhra- 
manya on a large car, and more especially every Tuesday, and at the 
annual festival Shashtivrata, they are adored and receive offerings. 
Begarding your question, whether the gods and goddesses live together 
as husband and wife do on earth, 1 answer, that, according to our reli- 
gious books, there is nothing, and happens nothing, here on earth, 
thBi is not, and does not happen, also in heaven, though in a different 
manner." ♦ 

* A third son of Siva or Isvara might here be mentioned VlTsbhadra, who was 
produced for the purpose of destroying the sacrifice of I>aksha^* but a description 
of him will he found in chapter V. of part IIL 




" The second person among the Mummtlrttis is ^^jp Vishnu (the per- 
vader of the universe), and of him and his family we have mm to treat 
Vishnu is the object of worship in the Ji^sm">^"^ Vishnu-mata, i.e. 
Vishnu-religion, and by theVaishnavas he is considered to be the Supreme 
"Being,* and worshipped as such, together with his family, just as Siv» 
is regarded and worshipped as such by the Saivas. In illusiaration of 
this statement we quote from a letter written to us by one of these hea- 
thens the following passage. " In tlie opinion of the Saivas, Siva is the 
Supreme Being, and in that of the Vaishnavas, Vishnu : but both are 
one. The offerings and adoration which .Isvara (or Siva) receives from 
the Saivas, and those which Vishnu receives from the Vaishnavas, are 
both meant for the one Divine Being, though the names, forms of prayer, 
ceremonies, and signs, which are made use of, differ from one another. 
The principal difference between both religions lies in this: The most 
holy Mantra (form of prayer) of the Saivas consists of five syllables, 
^Aod that rf the Vaishnavas of eight (and with some sects among them 
4rf 3ix).t -And between the followers of the two religions^there is this 

♦ What the Vaishnavas think of Vishnu may be seen from the first and last 
paragraphs of the Vishnu-Purana, which, according to Mr. H. H. Wilson's toms- 
Uition, are as follows : Om ! glory to Vasudeva- Victory be to thee, Pundarikaksha; 
adoration be to thee, Visvabhavana ; glory be to thee, Krishikesa Mahapurusha, 
and PQrvaja [different names of Vishnu]. May that Vishnu, who is the existent, 
imperishable Brahma, who is Isvara, who is spirit ; who with the three quahties 
is the cause of creation, preservation and destruction ; who is the parent of nature 
inteflect and the other ingredients of thfe universe, be to us the bestower of under- 
standing, wealth, and final emancipation." 

" I adore him, that first of gods, Purushottama, who is without end and without 
beginning, without growth, without decay, without death ; who is substance that 
knows not change. I adore that ever inexhaustible spirit, who assumed sensible 
qualities ; who, though one, became many ; who, though pure, became as if impure 
by appearing in many and various shapes ; who is endowed with divine wisdom, 
and is the author of the preservation of all creatures. I adore him, who is the one 
conjoined essence and object of both meditative wisdom and active virtue ; who is 
watchful in providing for human enjoyments ; who is one with the three qualities ; 
who, without undergoing change, is the cause of the evolution of the world ; who 
exists of his own essence, ever exempt from decay. I constantly adore him, who is 
entitled heaven, air, fire,- water, earth, and ether ; who is the bestower of all the 
objects which give gratification to the senses ; who benefits mankind with the in- 
struments of fruition; who is perceptible, who is subtle, who is imperceptible. May 
that unborn, eternal Uari, whose form is manifold, and whose essence is composed 
of both nature and spirit, bestow upon allj mankind that blessed state which 
knows neither birth nor decay." 

t Concerning those Mantras see pp. 30 & 31. 


outward diflference : The Saivas besmear tiiemidtes witbVibltfllh^or 
TiruDira (sacred ashes of burnt eowdaog) as well as wi^ a whitish pre-' 
paration of sandal-wood ; and manj of them wear also « rosary of Rudrak- 
sha : the YaishnavaSy on the other hand,^make the sign Tirunama, paint- 
ing their foreheads with ^^^^/rinriATirusnrana (a red or yellow prepara- 
tion of sandal wood and saffron) as well as with QsniS^ikfimih Gopi- 
ehandana (a calcareous clay) ; and some of them wear also a rosary of 
marfA Tulasi (ocymum sanctum), called ^erSiDeaii^jgweuLub Tulasima- 

Vishnu is represented by a human figure with four arms and hands. 
In two (^ his hands he holds nothing, having them as it were ready to 
giTc blessings, and in the other two, which he raises, he holds in tha 
right one the weapon ^dstrui Chakra, i. e. the discus, and in the left the 
^B^ Sankha, i. e. the conch-shell, with which he is said to have done 
great deeds ; wherefore many Vaishnavas get these weapons burnt is 
tiieir arms, suppcvsing thereby to keep off evil. The colour of his body is 
usually dark-blue. On his head he wears a crown, and on his forehead 
a red sign of ^ek^/ft KastTlri, i. e. a spot pf musk, [or the sign Tirunama.} 
His hair, ears, neck, breast, body, hands, and feet are adorned with 
pearls, precious stones, gold, and silver. His garment is embroidered 
with gold. From his shoulders a garland hangs down ; and his stand- 
bg place is a lotus flower. Thus be is found in the pogadas, with two 
great lamps burning near him. The image which is carried about in 
the streets at festivals is cast d metal, but the one in the innermost 
part of the pagoda, to which daily offerings are made, is of stone. 

In honour of Vishnu many pagodas of various sizes have been erected. 
In the larger ones of these the following images are to be found : 
1. Vishnu's, image of stone in the innermost part, which is daily as 
often worshipped as the Linga in Isvara's pagodas. 2. Vishnu's figure 
of metal, which is after the offering adorned with various jewels and 
ornaments, especially when it is to be carried about in the steets at fes- 
tivals. 3. Maba Lakshmi, his consort, who stands in a little apartment 
ofher own, and is daily worshipped together with her husband. Hex 
image is made both of stone and of metal. 4. gitanounedan Dvara-pala- 
kas, two door-keepers, very ugly, standing at the entrance to the inner- 
most apartment* 5. Q<Fio€on* Cheller, Vishnu's herald, who has a little 
place of his own, gets a share in the worship, and takes always the lead 
at processions at festivals. 6. fi/^^^«ff/rir^ Vachikkara, who is said, to 
have been a holy man, and highly exalted by Vishnu in bliss ; whercr 
fore they have built him a little temple of his own in the pagodas, and 
honour him as a saint, supposing that he has great influence with Vishnu, 
with whom he is continually. 7. um€^am(B ^^ojirir Pannirandn 
Arhvar, i. e. twelve devotees, supposed to be in great favour with Vishnu. 
They are said to have been holy men and Vishnu's apostles, who per- 

• Q*A>«»# is probably a corruption of Q^^tOr, a prosperous happy person. 


pogated his religion in this world, and were received by him into Umf 
visibly in their bodies ; wherefore they have now in his pagodas little 
temples, and receive some adoration and offerings. Their names are as 
follows : 1, fi(^uiBtmmiuiry>€aKff Tiramangai-arhvar; 2, Quiriunsiuir^aiifir 
Poigai-arhvar; 3, ^/f^^fr^^iri PQtatUurhvar; 4, Quiuir^Qiiri PSyarhvar; 
5, QuiBiu^y^ciKir Periya«arhvar; 6, fi(^u>^m^aj/r^€uirw Tirumarhisai- 
arhvar ; 7, iBu>t^ty>€airi Nammarhvar ; 8, u>giffsdiajir^9iiri Mathurakavi- 
arhvar; 9, ^effC^sffn^otftd Kulas^khara-arhvar; 10, Q^irmt-^i^JLjQufi^ 
tunyp^nff Tondaradippodi-arhvar ; 11, uirenfiudsffffn- Bhashyakkara (com- 
mentator, a surname of Bamanuja) ; 12, incssrGiirerunrQpe^ Manavalama- 
mnni.* Also the bird sq^l^ot 6arada,t Vishnu's vehicle, is found in 
all pagodas sacred to Vishnu; and in the large pagodas at particalarly 
sacred places many more images, chiefly forms of Vishnu, representing 
him in his different incarnations and appearances, are found and adored 
together with those mentioned above. ( 

As r^ards Vishnu's ten ^€a/BiTomaer Avataras, i. e. incamationSi 
they are in chronological order as follows •* 1 . Matsya ; 2. EQrma $ 
3. Varaha ; 4. Narasimha ; 5. Vamana ; 6. Parasurama ; 7. Rams ; 
8. Krishna ; 9. Balarama or Balabhadra (formerly Buddha) ; 10. 

1., tn^^iTQjjgirffti Matsya-avatdray i. e. fish-incarnation. Concerning 
this a heathen wrote as follows : '^ In olden times a giant stole the four 
V^das and hid them in the sea. Then Vishnu assumed the form of a 
fish and fetched them, knowing that without them men would faU into 
many sins.*' 

According to Mr. W. Taylor's Mythology, accounts of this Avatars 
are given in several Puranas, and the following is an outline of the facts 
which are stated in connection with it, and which seem to relate to the 
deluge. In a time of great wickedness, the sage Satyavrata, while 
doing penance in the Dravida country (South India), took up a small 

'*' The two last ones are not exactly Arhvars, but belong to a dais of eighteen who 
are called ^mn^wHiui Faryacharyas (old doctors or teachers. Instead of those two 
there ought to be mentioned : I, ficgiiur^^i^mti. Tirappan.arhvar, a Pariah found- 
ling, who was adopted by a poei whose profession he learned so well that he could 
contribnte to the N&la3iram a description of Vishnu's beauty ; 2, «K«Ari_f^ Andil, 
a femide foundling, who, being educated by a Yaishnava, dedicated herself to Vishnu 
at Tripetti, and composed Tiruppavai and Tirumorhi (together 173 stanzas). 

f Garuda, the Brahmany kite (falco pondischerianns), is the destroyer of snakes, 
and by the Hindus considered as the sovereign of the feathered race. Vishnu's 
vehicle, however, being the son of Easyapa and Vinata, is thought to be superior to 
the common Brahmany kite, and represented as a being something between a man 
and a bird. 

X An image very frequently found is that of the monkey-king Hanuman, wbo 
assisted Rama in his war with the giant Bavana, and is therefore regarded as a 
demi-god, and his whole race as sacred, and because of this allowed to multiply and 
do mischief, no one daring to touch them. 

§ The account of the Avataras is here remodelled and enlaiged ; in the Gtemao 
text it is rather confuse and incomplete. 


fish in his waterpot ; whichy iaoreaaiag as it wim in bnlk| he put 
s to another, and after constant increase of bulk in difierent vessels, tiU 
at last it became so great that be had to transfer it into the ocean ; after 
which it announced to him an approaching great fiood, and warned him 
to take refuge, together with his wife, the seven Rishis and their wives, 
in a vessel to be provided ; directing him also to take pairs of all living 
creatures, with provisions of food. Then came torrents of rain ; the sea 
began to swell ; and there appeared a vessel floating on the waves, into 
which the sage and those mentioned before entered,, whilst Vishnu, in 
the form of a fish, towed the vessel till the deluge was ovez.* 

2. m^a-tDBw^trffih Kflrma-avatara, i. e. tortoise-incarnation* Concern*- 
ing this the Vishnu Purana gives us the following information. The 
Muni Durvasa, a portion of ^va, cursed Indra,, the king of the god$, 
for having disrespectfully treated a garland of celestial fiowers> which 
he had given him ; in consequence of which '* thenceforward the three 
worlds and Sakra (Indra) lost their vigour ; all vegetable productSf 
plants and herbs withered and died ; and all beings became devoid of 
steadiness, etc* Then, the three regions being thus wholly divested of 
prosperity, and deprived of energy, the Danavas and sons of Dili, the 
enemies of the gods, who were incapable of steadiness, and agitated by 
ambition, put forth their strength against the gods. They engaged in 
war with the feeble, and unfortunate divinities ; and Indra and the rest, 
being overcame in fight, fled for refuge to BrabmS, who, being unable 
to help them, sent them to Vishnu ; and he, after having been duly 
praised by the gods, smiled upon the prostrate divinities and thus spake : 
" With renovated energy^ oh gods, I will restore your strength. Do 
you act as I enjoin. Let all the gods, associated with the Asuras (the 
enemies of the gods), cast all sorts of medicinal herbs into the sea of 
milk ; and then taking the mountain Mandara for the churning stick, 
the serpent Vasuki for the rope, churn the ocean together for ambrosia ; 
depending upon my aid. To secure the assistance of the Daityas (the 
enemies)} you must be at^peace with them, and engage to give them an 
equal portion of the fruit of your associated toil ; promising them, tbat 
by drinking the Amrita (ambrosia or nectar) that shall be produced from 
the agitated ocean, they shall become mighty and immortal ; whilst I will 
take care that the enemies of the gods shall not partake of the precious 
draughty but that they shall share in the labour aloncf 

* The delu«:e» lays Mr. Taylor^ is in this land geologically an accomplished Cact, 
which Sir William Jones, who denied the deluge while he was in £arope» acknow. 
ledged after having come to India. 

t Such treachery and falsehood being ascribed to the gods, we cannot wonder that 
the same is practiced by the Hindus themselves ; but we must be sorry that tMs is 
the case, and that even in the ancient code of laws, the Institutes of Mann, it is ez« 
pressly said, that in certain cases falsehood is preferable to truth, e. g. ( Manu viii. 
103) : **H6 who from a pious motive bears false virttness shall not lose his seat in 
heaven ; such witness wise men call the language of the gods.** (V. 124) "When- 
ever the death of a man who is not a villain, bnt has made a mistake from careless*' 
nes8 or errory would be occasioned because of the severity oi a king, false i^ttnes* 


" Being ihtis iu8tructc;d by the god of gods, the diiriniiies entered 
into alliance with the demons ; and tbej jointly undertook the acquire- 
ment of the beverage of immortality. They collected various kinds of 
medicinal herbs, and cast them into the sea of milk, the waters of which 
were radiant as the thin and shining clouds of autumn. They then took 
the mountain Mandara for the staff ; the serpent Vftsuki for the cord ; 
and commenced to churn the ocean for the Amrita. The assembled 
god.s were stationed by Vishnu at the tail of the serpent ; the Daityas 
and Danavas at its bead and neck. Scorched by the flames emitted 
from his inflated hood, the demons were shorn of their glory ; whilst the 
clouds driven towards his tail by the breath of his mouth, refreshed the 
gods with reviving showers. In the midst of the milky sea, Hari 
(Vishnu) himself, in the form of a tortoise, served as a pivot for the 
mountain, as it was whirled around. The holder of the mace aud 
discus (Vishnu) was also present in other forms amongst the gods and 
demons, and assisted to drag the monarch of the serpent race : and in 
another vast body he sat upon the summit of the monntain. With one 
portion of his energy, unseen by gods or demons, he sustained the ser- 
pent king ; and with another, he infused vigour into the gods." 

From the ocean, thus churned, arose then Dhavantari, the physician 
of the gods, bearing in his hand the cups of Amrita, Lakshmi, the spouse 
of Vishnu,* a goodly number of celestial nymphs, etc. 

3. QJirirsrreu^ffffLD VarSLha-avatara, i. e. boar-incarnation.f Concerning 
this we extract from the Vishnu Purana the following passages : *' At 
the close of the Pfldma Kalpa (age), the supreme Narayana, the incom- 
prehensible, the sovereign of all creatures, invested with the form of 
Brahma, awoke from his sleep of night, and beheld the universe void. 
Then, he, the lurd, concluding that within the waters lay the earth, and 
being desirous to raise it up, created another form for that purpose ; and as 
in preceding Kalpas he had assumed the shape of a fish or a tortoise, so 
in this he took the form of a boar, and plunged into the ocean ; while 
the goddess Earth, beholding him thus descending to the subterraneous 
regions, bowed in devout adoration and glorified the god .... Then, 
being praised by the Earth, he emitted a low murmuring sound, like 
the chanting of the Sama Veda ; and the mighty boar, whose eyes 

may be giyen. and is even preferable to truth.** (V. 125). " Such witnesses must 
make an offering of ricecakes and milk to Sarasvati, the goddess of speech ; and by 
this they will fully atone for the venial sin of having given false witness from a 
pious motive." 

* See the chapter about Lakshmi. 

t Ziegenbalk's correspondent gives two versions of this incarnation viz. : 1. ^The 
earth was sunk into the ocean, and Vishnu assuming the form of a boar lifted it upi 
2. Bmhmaand Vishnu vied with each other, which of them could find an end of 
Siva, Brahma goinpr upwards to see Siva's head, and Vishnu, in the form of a boar, 
downwards, to sre his feet'* But the last one is nothing but the story of the Liuga 
of Trinomaly, as related by the Saiva«,and is not nt all calculated to exalt Visbnu> but 
rather Siva, inasmuch as neither Brahma nor Vishnu found an end of him. 


irereMke Hhe btus, and whote body, vtuA m the Nila rnddtitafti. Was 
of the dark colour of the lotus leaves, uplifted upon his ample tusks 
the earth from the lowest regions^ 

4* iBff&mitrea/sirffU) Nara8iinha>-avat3,ra, i. e. man*l]on-incftrn^tion. Con- 
cerning this a heathen wrote as follows : "^ There was once a gt*eat giant, 
Qfftvfiiuek Hirranya (or rather Hiranyakasipu), who, by reason of his 
severe pen;ince, obtained from the divinity (Brahma)* the boon 
that he should not be slain by any created being ; in consequence of 
which he became very proud, and required from all people rn the 
world to honor him by saying "Om Hiranya*'< adoration to Hiranya), 
and those who would not say so, he ordered to be punished and tor-* 
tared. But his son Prahlida, who was a devout worshipped of 
Vishnu, would not obey his father's order, but continued to say, " Om 
namah" (meaning by *' Om" Vishnu). Hiranya remonstrated with 
him because of this, but in vain. Then he attempted to punish and 
kill him, but in yain : Prahlada was struck heavily ; but he did not 
feel the strokes ; he was cast into the fire, but he was not hurt ; he 
was assailed and trampled on by elephants, but continuing to think of 
Vishnu, he was not hurt ; he was thrown fettered into the sea, but a 
'^sh carried him safely to the shore, and so on. At last, when Prahlada 
did not cease praising Vishnu, and asserted that he was every where and 
in every thing, Hiranya retorted : ''If so, why dost thou not show him 
unto me ?*' Upon this Prahls,da rose and struck a column of the hall 
in which they were assembled ; and behold, there issued from it Vishnu, 
in a form which was half man and half lion, and tore Hiranya to pieces.'^t 

$. ^ffui^^/girffui Vamana-avatara, i. e. dwarf-incarnation. Regarding 
this a heathen wrote as follows : *' There was once a king^ called iMru&l 
Mabali, who, having received great gifts from the deity, conquered all 
countries and expelled the kings from their kingdoms. Then the 
dethroned kings went to the divinity, and complained to liim of the 
tyranny of Mabali ; upon which Vishnu assumed the form of a young 
Brahman, went to Mabali, and asked him for a village ; and when this 
was refused, he asked only for so much of landed property as he could mete 
out with three steps ; upon which the king said to him : *' You are only 
a little boy ; what is the use of landed property to you ? I will rather 
give you food as much and as long as you like." But the boy 

* Usually Siva is the divinity who is pleased with a severe penance, and bestows 
gi^at boons on ascetics. 

t The legend of Prahlada is related at great length in the Vishnu Pnrfina, from 
which we quote the following passages^ as particularly illustrative of Hindu doctrine : 
**Prahi&da. meditating mpon Vishnu^ a9 identical with his own spirit, became as one 
With htm, and finally regarded himself as the divinity : he forgot entirely his own 
indiyiduslity, and was conscious of nothing else than his heing the inexhaustible, 
eternal, supreme soul ; and in consequence of the efficacy of this conviction of identi- 
ty, the Imperishable Vishnu, whose essence is wisdom, became present in his htert> 
which was wholly purified from sin." ''Whoever litteus to the history of Prahlada 
is immediai^y deansed from hia siBf." 

76 TiaBMU. 

replied : << I am a BrahmaB, and ask 7011 to gare me eo aiacli ef landed 
property as I ean neteoot with tluree stepa, that I may practice pena&ceoa 
it. At last the king promised to grant him his request, and called his wifii 
to bring the waterpot, in order to pour water in the hand of the boy, as 
a sign of surety. This being done, the boy was at liberty to mete out 
the land ; whereupon he stretched forth his foot, and comprised with the 
first step the whole earth, with the second the whde heaven ; and when 
he asked, where he should put his foot for the third step, the king told 
him to put it on his head, which he did, treading Mabali down into the 
lowest world. Thus the king came to know that the boy was Vishnu, 
humbled himself, and said : '* O lord, I will make but one petition which 
thou mayest grant unto me.'' ** What dost thou want?" replied Yishna, 
" say on, I will give it unto thee." ''Allow me," said Mabali, " to behold 
^e world once in a year, and order a festival to be celebrated on that 
day in remembrance of me." ** Well," answered Vishnu, •* I will com- 
ply with thy request." Therefore we celebrate now annually a festival 
in Kovember, at which we burn a palmyra tree before the pagodas^ and 
act the story of M&bali." 

6. ua»jriruif€afiitajj> Parasurama-avatara. Concerning this incarnation 
of Vishnu as a man bearing the above name, a heathen wrote as fol- 
lowH : '' There were once seven Kshatria-kings, who ruled very tyranni- 
cally, blasphemed the gods, and troubled both gods and men (especially 
the Brahmans) exceedingly. When Vishnu could bear this no longei^ 
be assumed the form of a man, named Parasurama, and destroyed thoss 
kings and their whole race." 

Parasurama, i. e. Bama with the axe, is said to have been the son of 
Jamadagni, and Reauka.* The Rishi Jamadagni was in possession of 
KamadhSnu, the cow of the gods, which is fabled to give every thing 
the possesser may wish. A king, called Karttavlrya, coveting it, asked 
the Rishi for it, and when he would not give it away, the king took it 
by force ; whereupon the Rishi ordered his son to go and recover it. 
Parasurama went, and, chopping off with his axe the hundred arms of the 
the robher, killed him, and restored the supremacy of the Brahmans over 
the K8hatria3. " Thrice seven times did he clear the earth of the 
Kshatria caste ; and filled with their blood the five large lakes of Sa- 
-mantapanchaka," says the Vishnu Purina, which see for particulars. 

7. gjffinoir^fi/raut Raraa-avat&ra. Regarding this incarnation a hea- 
then wrote as follows : " A giant called Ravana, did severe penance 
till the divinity appeared to him and asked him what reward he would 
like to get for his penance ; upon which Ravana requested to be made 
lord and king of the island of Ceylon. This petition being granted, he 
became very haughty, and gave even the gods not a little trouble, but 
at last they complained of his tyranny to the highest god, who comforted 
them, saying : ** Be not afraid, there is a king, called Dasaratha^ who 
has, for a long time, done severe penance, in order to get children. Now 

« Heie im Sonth^m India Baiaka faftt become EUanmuti, eoneeming whom see the 
second Chapter of the third part, where also something mote of fiaiaiiirima, wSi be 


I dkeot Viiimii lo be born to bim as B&ma ; and be a«d Ua taroAer 
liakabmana sball destroy R&vana." Aoeordingly, Vishnu was b<Hm t# 
Dasara^a, and called B&ma. As sucb be did great wonders, married 
SIta, and, on Ri^ana's carrying ber off^ be made war widi bim, till be bad 
destroyed bim and his whole race." 

Rama's story is told at great length in the R&mayaaa, one of the two 
great epic poems of the Hindtts^ and the following, partly borrowed 
from TayWs Manual of Hindu Mythology, is an outUne of the same; 
ItS,ma, frequently called R&maehandca, was the son of Kausalya, one 
of the wives of Dasaratba, king of Ayodhya {th^ present Ottde)» 
In his pupilage he was placed under the eare of Vlsv&mitra, and 
when still very young, he killed a gkmt and a gianlesa. Tben be got 
marr^ to the beautiful Sita«* Not long, however'* were the ilbu- 
triou8Cou[de allowed to enjoy the splendour of royal^; for, owing to 
the intrigues of Kaik^^jra, Dasacatha's youngest wife, who wt^ed ber son 
Bharata to be seated on tbe throne, B4ma, the first^boni son and lawfid 
heir, was banished to the wilderness, and was accompanied tbero by hie 
affeetionate wife Sita, and his faitbful brother Lak^mana. After many 
adventures, Rama was, by the<2ra£t of tbe giantess M&richa, led far 
away from Sita in pursuit of a deceptive deer; whilst Sita was taken 
up by Ravaaa, the king of Lanka or CS^lon (a giant with ten heads and 
hundred arms), and oarried through tbe air to Laaika. On tbe way two 
fabulous btrds fonght with Ravana; they were, however, killed by the 
giant, and their bodies falling to the ground indicated what bad occurred, 
Bama, who was inconsolable at bis loss, bei^une next ao<j^nted with twe 
brothers, Yali and Sngrlva, monkey priuces, and their general Hanuman^ 
who was sent fcurth to find out where Sita was concealed. And when» 
i^ter many enquiries, he bad discovered that she was an unwilling 
icaptive at tbe court of Ravana, king of Lanka, he was sent to 
Lanka, as ambassador, to demand the rel^se of Sita ; but be met with a 
refusal. Then the two brothers Yali and Sugriva quarrelled with each 
other, and Rama, siding with the younger, killed Vali, and seated Sugriva 
on the fiirone; whereupon he placed an army of Vanaras, (literally mon- 
keys, but probably i^lvans, or rude people), under Hanuman as their ge-^ 
n^al, at Rama's disposal. By their aid, R&ma constructed an isthmus or 
brid^ from the continent of India to Ceylon; passed over it ; slew, after 
a very bard struggle, R&vuia; took Lanka; rescued Sita ; and, placing 
Vibi^kana on the throne of Lanka, be returned with his wife to Ayodbya, 
where be was enthusiastically received as victor and king. But even 
tben bis troubles were not yet ended. To make sure of Sita's purity, R&. 
ma made ber go through tbe ordeal of fire; and notwithstanding her pass* 
ing it, be repudiated ber when pregnant, and sent ber to the wilderness, 
where aiie took refuge with the sage Valmiki, and was delivered of twins, 
named Lava and Kusa. Some years later, Rama came into the same 
fimrest, recognized and received bis sons after having fought with them, 
and was after all also reconciled to Sita.t 

• Soe aa aecount of this marriage in the fdloving chapter about Laksbmi. 
t At the end of the serenth clis^ter; farther particabkre will be found. 


' t, Q(^^^^m^irffi}> Krishoft-aTiit&ra. Oonwrning Vishna's inetrtm* 
tion as Krishna a heathen wrote as follows : ** There was once a king by 
the name of DuryOdhana, the eldest of hundred brothers. And there 
lived at the same time five rojal brothers, named the Pancha Findavas, 
Dharma (or Yadishthira), Bhima, Arjnna, Nakuls, and Sahiid^va, who 
had together one wife, called Draupadi. These lost their kingdom and 
all they had by playing at dice with Duryddliana, and were obliged to go 
into the wilderness. But Arjana did severe penance in order to obtwa 
the wonderful bow called uir^u^mfiffu) Pasapaiastra, with which he 
afterwards overcame Duryddhana. At the same time, Vishnu was born 
as Krishna, brought up by shepherds, and afterwards used by ths 
five P&,ndavas as ambassador to Duryhodhana. But as the king woaM 
not come to terms with the five brothers, they made war with him, in 
which they overcame him by means of the wonderful bow, and by the 
help of Krishna. For Vishnn had became incarnate for this very purpose 
to destroy DurySdhana, and to restore the kingdom to the five brothers. 
Vishnu is much celebrated as Rama, but still more as Krishna, inasmuch 
as he did most miracles in the form of Krishna. According to our writ- 
ings, Krishna had 16,000 wives, but they were all chaste virgins, whom 
he only amused with different sports. As to the five Panda vas, the 
eldest Dharma, who was very pious and gentle, became king. After 
some time, however, all of them, together with Draupadi, left their king- 
dom for the purpose of journeying towards the seat of bliss (the Hima- 
laya mountains); when four of them and Draupadi died on the way ; whilst 
Dharma was, in his body, taken into Vishnu's heaven Vaikuntba. For 
this reason we have here and there pagodas, which contain his image 
and those of his brothers and their wife Draupadi ; and annually we 
celebrate a festival in their honour, at which the priests of those pagadas 
must pass through fire bare-footed. Their history is described in a book 
entitled tojs/r«0/v^Lo Mah8.vindam, and Afjuna*s penance in another called 
^^^£r€tr^^»mS» Aijuna-tapasunilai." 

~ Krishna's life is related, at great length, in the Vishnu PuiUna and 
other books, and as he is the favorite form of Vishnu with most Vaish* 
navas, an outline of it, partly taken from Taylor's Mythology, will here 
not be out of place. Krishna was the son of Vd^udSva (also a name of 
Krishna himself) by his wife Devaki, a sister of Kansa, a king, who, 
from jealousy, ordered the child to be destroyed. This was attempted 
by Ptltana, his nurse, through poisoning her nipples, and in other ways. 
The parents, therefore, gave their son in charge to Nanda, a shepherd, 
who, however, was also ordered to kill the child. But as his wife Yasodi 
had taken a fancy to him, they adopted him instead of a little child which 
they had lost. Thus Krishna grew up as Gop&la, a cow-herd among 
cow-herds. When only able to crawl, he began to steal curds and butter. 
One day, when a mere boy, he jumped into the tank of Kal^ya, the king 
of snakes, where he got into such great danger that his foster-parents 
and play-mates despaired of his life. But at once he stood triumphant 
on the head of the snake-king. And in this position, standing and danc- 


ing on a snake, and playing the lute, he is very frequenidy represented 
by bis devotees. Another tinie, when Indra, being angry that his wor- 
ship wa9 supplanted by that of Krishna, and of cows and mountains^ 
caused a terrible thander^torro, by which the shepherds and 6hep-> 
herdesses, together with their herds, came into great danger, Krishnar 
then a boy of seven years, lifted up the great mountain Govarddhana 
and held it over his friends for seven days. When a youth, he became 
a favorite with the young Gdpis, or milk-maids. When these were 
bathing in the river Yamuna, i. e* Jumna, Krishna watched them, and 
while they were in the river, he took their garments, climbed a tree with 
thetn, and forced the young women to otaae and stand naked before him^ 
begging for their clothes. His favorite mistress was Radha. The Gita 
Goviuda is a poem on their amours # He exehanged, however, soon the 
hfe of a shepherd with that of a politician and warrior, joining the five 
ULndavas, his relatives, and becoming their ambassador and the cbario-r 
teer of Arjuna (hence his epithet I^rthasaratbi) in their war with 
Duryodhana. Throughout the war, which he advocated* his was the 
presiding mind ; while Arjuna was the principal hero, and Dharma- 
rijah the nominal head of the confederacy. The war, as stated by 
Ziegenbalk's correspondent, ended in the defeat of Duryodhana. After- 
wards Krishna went to his capital Dvaraka, whence he set out on aa 
expedition against Sisupala, whom he killed, and whose espoused wife, 
by the name of Bukmini, he carried off and married. This was the 
imly one to whom he was legally married ; whilst the number of his 
mistresses was no less than 16,000, of whom seven were his especial favo- 
rites. One day when the Rishi Nirada came to him on a visit, and pre- 
sented him with the flower Parijata from the world of the gods, Krishna 
gave it to Rukmini, and by this one of his favorite mistresses, Satyabh&ma 
got so inflamed with jealousy, that Krishna, in order to appease her, 
went to the heaven of the gods and brought away the tree itself that 
bore the flower. Krishna was vulnerable in his heel only. One day 
when he sat in a forest, engaged in thought, and resting his foot upon 
his knee, a hunter, named Jara, came, and beholding from a distance 
the foot of Krishna, mistook it for part of a deer, and shooting his arrow, 
lodged it in the sole. Krishna, however, forgave him, and sent him 
straight-way to heaven, and having himself also abandoned his mortal 
body, he was, in the language of the Vishnu Puiana '* united with 
his oum sel/,^ (i. e. the universal spirit).* 

9. The ninth incarnation of Vishnu is called by Ziegenbalk's corres- 
pondent Qq;(^j7«;u> Veguttvam, i. e. plurality, and concerning it he writes 
as follows : '* In olden times there were two very pernicious sects, viz. 
the umi^^mir Bhauddhas or Buddhists, and the ^Ltmra Samanar or Jainas. 
They abused the religion of Vishnu and Siva, and forced the people to 
embrace their own religion ; and those who would not embrace it, they 
troubled exceedingly* They did not besmear themselves with holy ashes, 

* For further particulars see the Vishnu Purana. 


nor did they iiMkk# the siga Tiratt&ma ; thej Uiotight nothing of the pun* 
fiction of Uie body ; and though they worshipped images, they seemed to 
have no proper religion at all. They made also .no distinction with re- 
gard to caste, but bought aH men equal* Thus they annulled the dif- 
ference between the high and the low, the learned and the unlearned. 
Th^ religion was neither like ours, nor like thai of the Mohamedans, nor 
like that ^ the Christians ; it seened to be a corruption of alL There^ 
fore Vi^Bu. resolved to extirpate themi and for this end he assumed the 
form of a man, and joined themi pretending to be one of their own priests* 
But when he had come to know them thorc^hlyi he manifested his real 
form, and ordered his PaDnira«du Arhvir, or twelve apostles, to root 
out their reUgiim and establish his own."* 

Fonnerly Buddha was considered to have been the ninth Avaiara of 
Vishnu^ Imt in course of time he was deposed from the dignity, Balari.-* 
ma, also called Bdabbadn, who was the son of Nanda and nominally the 
elder brother oS Krishna, taking his plaee.t As the patron of agriculture, 
Balarama bears in his Imnd a ceuntiy plough as a sta£& His wife was 
RSvatiy to whom he was strongly attached. Here he contrasts favcMrablj 
with Krishna ; and therefore also his praises are sung, more especially 
by Telugu poets. He is said to have b^ a man oi great strength, who^ 
according to the Yishnu^purina, slew many giants. 

10. ^^^t^Qi^KffL^ Asva( or Kalki)-avat&ra, i. e. horse-incamatkm* 
Concerning this a heathen wrote as follows : '* At the end of time wbe«i 
the world is to be destroyed, Vishnu will undertake his last incarnation^ 
and appear as a horse, in order to make an end of all. What follows 
after this, we do not know, but it is said that the divinity will then b^in 
a new sport in creating other worids and other creatures." 

Concerning this future incarnation of Vishnu, and the end of the Kali- 
yuga when it is to take place, we read in Wilson's translation of the 
Vishnu Purlins ( p. 482 etc.) as follows : '' Towards the end of the Kali- 
i^e there will be reigning over the earth kings of a churlish spirit and 
a violent temper, and ever addicted to falsel^od and wickedness. They 
will inflict death on women, children, and cows ; they will seize upon the 
property of their subjects. They will be of limited power, and will for 

* Concerning the BuddhisU and Jainat Me the end chap. IV. of the app^dix to 
part XL 

t It may seem strange or absurd that both Krishna and Balarsma, living as they 
were at the same time, are said to have been incarnations of Vishnu ; but it should be 
noticed that, according to the Pur:nas, it was always only a portion of the deity that 
became incarnate. Thus we read in the Vishnu Parana that Krklma, after having 
told the shepherds to worship the mountain Govarddhanot, presented himself as sneb, 
laying, "lam the mountain*' ; whiUt in his own form, aa Krishna he ascended t^e 
hill along with the cow-herds, and worshipped his mm self. 

Pantheistic as their whole system of religion is, the Hindus are not inconsistent 
is saying that two or more persons living at the same time were incarnations of 
Vishnu, but much rather in speaking of special incarnations at all, for^ according to 
their philosophy not only every man, but every creature, however mean, is an incar- 
nation of the deity, seeing that H is said to be all in aH. 

VISHNU* . »' 

iWuestpiurl rapidljr rtemidrfttt s tlicfir lives w^M sboriv tMirMfl^ 
insatiable, and they' will display bot fitlle piefy. The pe^ef of Ae* Thri^ 
<nis coaelrtes fotenoiifigling with them will follow fheir example^ and the 
barbarians being powerful in the patrfMiage of the princes^ whilst ptiM 
^besare neglected, the people wiU peirish* Wealth and piety will clecrMMT 
day by day, until the world be wholly deprated* Then property alone witt 
confer rank ; wealth will be the only source' of derotion ; passion will be 
the sde bond of umkHi between tiie sexes ; falsehood will be tbe only 
loeans of socoess in litigaition ; fy!id women wiH be objects merely of seir-^ 
snal ^ratificati(Hi. The earth will be veneiated but ifor its miivend 
treasures ; the Brahmanical threid will cotisdtute a Brahman ; eztemiil 
types ( as the staff and red garb) wiU be the only distinctions of the se^ 
teral (orders of life ; dishonesty will be the nniversal means of subebt* 
ence ; weakness will be the cause of dependence ; menace and presnmp' 
tion will be substituted for learning ; liberality will be devotion ; simple 
ablution will be purification ; mutual assent will be marriage ; fine 
dMhes wiM be dignity ; and water afor off will be esteemed » holy spri^. 
Amidst alf castes he who is the strMigest wifl rdgo ovelr'a princi^^ty 
thus vitiated by many faukr. The people, unable to beaV the hea^ 
burdens imposed upon them by their avarioione sovereigne, will take re- 
fiige amongst the valleys of tb^ moantains, and wiU be^gkd to feed iipo» 
wUd honey, herbs, voots, fruits, flowers, and leaves : thdr only ooverkig 
will be the bark of trees, and they will be exposed to ^e oeldy ttid wiad| 
and sun, and rain. No man's life will exceed three and twenty year£ 
Thns^in the EaH-i^e shall decay oenstantly proceed, until the human race 
approaches its annihilation. 

Then when the practices taught by the Ysdas and tbe imiitdieecflawr 
^hall nef^rly have ceased; and the close of the' Hi^a^ cfhaM be nigh^ A 
portion of that divine being who exists of his o^n spint«iall nature In th^ 
eharaeter of Brahma, and who is Uie beginning and the end, and who 
comprehends all things, shall descend upon the earth : he will be bom ia 
the £Eunily of Yishnuyasa, an eminent Brahman of Sambhala villaige, as 
Kalki,* and be endowed with the eight superhuman ^Acuities. By his 
irresistible might he will destroy all the Ml$chchhas^ barbarians) and 
thieves, and aU whose minds are devoted to iniquity* He will then re-^ 
establifih righteousness upon earth ; and the minds of those who live at 
the end of the Eali-age shall be awakened, and shall be as pellucid as 
erystal. The men who are thus changed by virtue of that peculiar time 
shall be as the seeds of human beings, and shall give birth to a race who 
shall follow the laws of the Krita age^ or age of purity. As it is said 3 

* Kalki means hor^e, but the idea that Viahnu will appei^r as a horse has, accor^n^ 
t6 Lassen, catiie into existence only after the invasion of-Miahniud of Ghaznee, which 
tbok place about 1,000 A. B: M'ahmud namely oTercame ttie Indian princes chiefly 
by means cC hW superior OBli«iry ; aadithe Hindas) despairing of Uieir oWn stRSigt^ 
conceiYedth^idea that the divinity l^msetfwilhai last <>yev(^]n» the b«»barian»ia 
the shape of a divine horse. 


<< When the sun and moon, and the lanar aateritm Ushya, and the plan- 
et Japiier, are in one mansion^ the Krita age shall retara."* 

Bettdes these principal ineamations, Vishna is said to have appeared 
in this woiid in varions forms and ways, oonoeming which a heathen 
wrote us as follows : '' Vbhnu manifested himself in. this world not onlj 
ten times, bat he appeared frequently in different ways and forms, and 
did multifarious wonders. Now he would appear as a little child ; then 
as an old man, an ascetic, a beggar, a Brahman ; and after all he would 
be recognized as Vishnu.f At the places where he appeared and did 
miracles, great pagodas have been erected in his honor, which are fre- 
quented by many people. The most celebrated among them are those of 
fid^uufi Tripetti, *^iJU4arnou> Kalyanapuram, Qsir^ir^ Godaptiri, 
Q(^mfk^ufi Krishn&pati, 9o&^u) Sriranga. In these and other such 
places he dwells in a special manner, and grants many gifts to those who 
come there to worship him."| 

• The Hindus talk o£ four Yagas or ages, viz., the Krita, having 1,728,000 
years ; the Treta, having 1,296,000 ; the Dvapaia, having 864,000 ; and the 
Kali, having 432,000 of which about 2,200 years are gone by, 

f The Bhagavadglta says : ** Whenever the law is neglected, and nnrigbt- 
•ousnesi prevails, Vishnu re-produces himself." The following personages 
are said to have been secondary Ava^ras of Vishnu : 1. Sakana, 2. Sanan- 
dana, 3. Sanata, 4. Sanatkumftra, (foar Rishis celebrated in the Bhagavata) ; 
b, Kapila, 6. Narada, 7. Vyasa or Vedavyasa, (three famons Kishis, concerain; 
whom something will be found iu chap. II. of part IV); 8. Hohini or Mftya^ 
(a female form of Vishnu, said to have copulated with Siva, and thus to have 
produced Ayenftr, concerning whom see chap. I. of part III) ; 9. Dhavantari, 
(the physician of the gods, who rose from the sea of milk when it was churned 
by the gods and Asuras) ; 10 Y§,gapati (the lord of sacrifice); 11. Vrishabha- 
ydgi, (the first of the twenty- four Jaina-saibts); 12. Buddha ; 13. Naranara* 
yana, 14, Dattattrdya, 15. Hayagriya. 

\ Along with those famous places should also be mentioned Mah&balipuram 
or^abalipuram, commonly called '' the Seven Pagodas,*' situated about 34 
miles south of Madras and 6 miles north of Sadras, near the sea. This place 
ii worth seeing, not because of its ordinary Vishnu temple, but because of lie 
inaryellously laborious sculpture in stupendous g/anit-blocks ; some of which 
have been hewn out and transformed into halls adorned with various images 
of Vishnu and other divinities together with their attendants; whilst others 
have been wrought so as to represent either ornamented small pagodas or 
large cars, as well as various animals, and two very large ones have the ap- 
pearance, of walls with multifarious images hewn into them. The most in- 
teresting groups of images in the solid granit-halls are the following ; Vishiio 
in his Vamaua-avatSLra, lifting up his leg to place it on the head of Habali. 
According to the local legend, Mabalipuram (i. e. Habali's city) was the re^ 
pidence of MUbali, not, however, the present village, but a site near it 
now covered by the sea, as proof of which a small pagoda is shown, which 


Owing to bin various inearaattons and appearances, Vlslum has many 
names, of which the following may be mentioned : d^t^jpr Vishnu ; 2# 
wsff^mfk^/fi Maha- Vishnu ; 3. Qu(^unrw Perumal (the great person)* 
[This is bis most common name in the Tamil country] ; 4. miroirumrmt 
K&rajana (the mover ou the water) ; 5. ^^Kiroinumrdr Adi-Narajana (tte 
supreme N.)6. ciff^ffir^njQu(^u)jr^ Varadariga-Perumal (the benign king 
[his name at Conjeveram]) ; 7* A/firi6«/F/riLrjicDr Sr!ranga-nayaka( the lord 
of Sriranga) ; 8. Cfif««^a}^/r^^ V^nkadacbala-mtUrtti ; 9* QoAsQi^W' 
arjQL/0<«ir<r Venkadesvara-perum&l (both 8 and9 *M<Nrd of VSnkada" i. e* 
Tripetti) ; 10. ^(fiQiuijD€mmf€fQu(^uiirmt ArbagiyamanaYala-perumSl (the 
beautiful bridegroom); IK Qa^mf^mrm Krishna (the black one); 12* 
mifgrQ/ftek VasudSva (Krishna, the son of V&sud^va) ; 18. QsiruneDtk 
Gopaia; 14. QmirJI/B/stk Govinda ; 16. «m/sQmirum NandagOpa (13, 14* 
and 15. "cow-herd"); i^./suQuM/sam Dam5dara (he who was bound with a 
rope [the boy Krishna, that he might do no mischief]) ; 17. Q^^Qmuni 
itm Devaki-maindan (D^vaki's son) ; 18. Qm^mm KSsaya (he who has 
fine hair) ; 19. unmL^mnia^^/tm Pandavarkkudtita (the messenger of 
the I^ndavas) 20. ft.«0@«arL.Outb^/rar Ulagundaperoman (the great one 
in whose mouth the world appeared [while he was eating] ) ; 2 1 . ««Rr«»-«r 
Kannan ; 22. sAiu^m Karijavan (the black one) ; 23. unn^fi^ntr^ Par* 
thasaratbi (Partha's, i. e. Aijuna's, charioteer) [The last twelve are names 
(^ Vishnu as Krishna] ; 24. Qtrri^ar Rama (the beautiful one) ; 26. gjira 
lorirtS Bamasvamy (the god R&ma) ; 26. Qmif/smiL^ffiruiar Kddandaiitma 
(Rama as having the great bow Kodanda) ; 27. QairLD^mfiatar Rfimaoha&- 
dra (the moon-like R&ma) ; 28. Sl/ru^Biek Raghava (Rama as grand -son 
of Raghu) ; 29. mirutarear VEmana (dwarf) ; 30. SIfy/rm Sridhara (the 
bearer of Sri, i.*e. Lakshmi) ; 31. ^(^sear Tirumagan (the holy son) ; 32. 
Qsfimm Ketaiw (the standard-bearer) ; 33. ustuimtru^ Padmanabha 

.itands not only near the tea, but actually in it. In the same hall there if 
also a representation of Vishnu's Varaha-ayatara, viz., a large human figure, 
with the head of a boar, and with Lakshmi, represented as a natural woman, 
on his lap. In another hall he is found in the form of Krishna, holding with 
one of his arms the mountain Govarddhana over a number of Gopis (L e. milk* 
maids), Gd|^las (i. e. cowherds), and cows, to protect them from a great 
thunderstorm, caused by Indra, because the shepherds and shepherdesses had, 
agreeable to the instruction of Krishna, ceased to worship him. Again in 
another hall, Vishnu is seen as Narayana, lying on the huge serpent Ananta, 
rolled up so as to form a couch, and bending her many heads, as it were as an 
umbrella, over the divinity. Strange to say, in the same hall there is also an 
image of Siva, together with Parvati, and an infant between them ; and more- 
over, a very elaborate group, representing Kali with many arms, riding on a 
lion, and surrounded by many attendants, as pursuing a giant with the head 
of an ox. Among the images in the perpendicular walls the most remarkable 
is that representing Arj una as doing penance, standing on one leg and having 
his hands folded over his head, together with that of Siva, who^ surrounded by 
many attendants, appears to the ascetic. 


ifka lokis-Mureled) ; 34. ^trtr^bsu^mM S&raDgftp&iii <tbe bow-mfto) ; 35, 
miflqpmtFmAQuiifi SunjDukhftflaDkhamSadi (the cbank^bearer) ; 86. Q»n 
tmi^idtawkrmrm KondalvarDa (tbe clottd-ccdored) ; 37» ^r^fBm Acb^ruta 
(ih« imperiahab&e one) ; 38, fia^uureo Tirumal (Visfana as lord of ilia- 
aioQ) ; 39, ^or® Yindu (wind or cloud) ; 40. ^mfly^Q/ura' UndipOtt^ 
(he whoae navel flowered [with a lotas]) ; 41. ^fieurK^nr Adivai*&ba (^ 
supreme boar) ; 42. g^^oiL^i^ufi Lakshinipati (Lakehmi's lord) ; 43. «>« 
^^mrt^^jr^m Vaikantha*natba (the lord of Vaiknntha) ; 44. Qmsirmtar Kel- 
yan (lover or husband) ; 43. Qpa/rA Muriri (the foe of Mura) ; 46. QmS 
Quttdr NSmiyon (the wearer of the di«ca8»weap<ni) ; 47. mi0i^jdr Yalavan 
(the mighty one) ; 48. meru>inA Yanamali (the wearer of a garland of the 
basil pUnt) ; 49. uu^fuvmC/suek Padiyalaiid5Q (he who traversed the 
imivarse with 3 steps) ; 50. ^mi/s^iuarm Ananta-sayana (he who sleeps 
on the serpent Aaanta) ; 5 1. tS/sjfuyuffek Fitambara (the wearer of a nik 
or g<^d-oolored garment) ; 52, ^w^Ceoff^^artk Jalajal5chana (the lotqi- 
eyed) ; 53. u^^^fftL/^ek Panchayudha (he who has five weapons) ; 54. 
QjBi^<iiuirm Nediyon (the tall one) ; 55. iSginhsuQuppfBafttt Brahmanaip« 
peddadhatra (Brahma's father) ; 56. Qp^H/Bm Mukunda (the passion* 
kss) ; 57. a^areuek Kanava (husband) ; 58. oiu^uAiaiirmr^ar Yadama* 
laivEnen (the dweller on the mount of Tripetty) ; 59. ^^BnCw^um^Qst 
mrQL^ir^ Alilaimelpallikondon (he who took his abode on a banian leaf) \ 
6P. i^ff^msQpi^fl NarasinhamtLrtti (okan-EoQ-fiorm) ; ^1, unrQ/uirm or 
tPfQmm M&ydn or MaySn (the illusive) ; 62, mtrpoj^ Madhava ; 63. jfiB 
Hari ; etc. 

The manner in which Yishnu is worshipped by the Yaishnavas is very 
much like that in which Siva or Isvara is worshipped by the Saivas, 
tbitt is to say, thrice every day offerings are made to his image in the 
pagodas ; and priviledged persons worship him also in their houses. 
These are called ffc^KiruDik^ir^fiuiuwgfiQp^iT Tirunama (m)-tirtha (m)- 
pannugiravar, and must observe a particular diet, and not defile them- 
aelves with any thing. Moreover,corresponding to theSaiva order of Andis, 
tfiere is the the Yaishnava order of the pn^ir DUsas (servants, devotees). 

As regards the festivals that are celebrated in honor of Yishnu, they 
are aa numerous as his fancied appearances and wonders ; but they are 
for the greater part observed only at those places where he is believed to 
iMtve appeared and done a miracle, the respective story being then 
alwajrs a» it were acted. Two of his festivals, however, are celebrated all 
0ver the land, viz. the^^/c^ Jayanti andOL/(]^ii>/rar^0/s/rar Perumal-tirunal. 
The first one, falling in August, is Krishna's birth day, at which the 
etroutnstoooes connected with his birth are acted in the pagodas. The 
duration of the festival depends generally on the revenues of the res- 
pective pagoda ; in rich pagodas it lasts several days, in poor ones only 
one day; for the expenses f^t these festivals are heavy because of the 
piays in the pagodas and the processions in the streets. The other fes* 
lival, Perumftl-tiirunal, lasts nine or ten days ; it is, however, not like the 
^ayanti celebrated every where at the same time, but whenever it is most 
convenient to the people of a place. It is also called f^d^^odiiuirfmtM 


Tir4]kaly&n&, beeaase Vislma^s imrriRge with Lalcshmi is acted on it, tmd 
moreoTer also Q^CffMiLt^thybeoMae Vii^iro and Lakshmi are earned Albout 
in the streets on great eafs.* Tbe famous ones among tLe pagodas saored 
to Vi^Bu have each one five cars, of which the first is used for Visbnv aa 
Bama ; the second for Lakshmi as Slta ; the third for Lakshmana ; the 
fourth for Bbarata ; and tbe fifth for Satraghoa. The three last ones, 
Rlkma*s brothers, are regarded «8 partial incarnations of Virimu. 

Among the fasts observed in honor of Vishnu there are three prineipal 
ones : viz., first, vsir/B^^Br^u) Ek&dasivrata, « fast ooa the eleventh dagr 
after everj new and full noon. This was instituted bj a certain king a 
very long time ago, and is believed to be very meritorious ; its obeerv- 
anoe, however, is optional ; for they say thai M good works jnust be 
done willingly, withoot constraint. Secondly, Miet^miQu^^w^St Yai- 
kanth^kadasi, a fket observed once a year in December ; when tbe people 
fast tbe whole day and adore Vishnu, taking only in the evening; 
either some pancakes, or merely some juice, macte of the leaves of jr«rd 
Tuiftsi ( basil, or oeynom eanetum), and «pend ^en the night in watoh'- 
ing and meditating on Vishnu. This fast is also caUed ^wndmmffs^M^jr 
^9 SvargavSealgkadasi, that is to say the docH* to heaven ; and tStoCmmw 
p^ Bhiraa'-ekadasi, because it was instituted by Bhuna, one of Ihe &re 
Pandavas. Bhima namely could not bear hunger; but in order to 
h&t at least once in the year, he observed this fast, from which he is said 
to have derived great benefit. Thirdly, 'LiffiLL^^^eBaQj^mu) Puradd&si- 
sanikkiiiiamai, a fast observed on the four Saturdays of the month 
of Paraddasi (Sept-Oct.)' Among those who observe this fast many 
make a pilgrimage to the great and famous pagoda at Tri petti, wher^ 
io the month of September a grand festival is celebrated, by which the 
pagoda is greatly enriched.'f 

About Vishnu a great number of books have been written, which are 
regarded as authoritative in matters of religion ; and every large pagoda 
has a local Pur&na, in which the story believed to have happened at tha 
place is described. Among the books that treat of Vishnu in Tamil, the 
following may be mention^ : 1. fi(^uLfsip Tiruppugarh, a poem setting 
forth the praises of Vishnu. 2. Qsir^Seoseoihuauy K5vilkalambagam, a col* 

• See 9 description of this festival in chapter ii. of the appendix to part ii. 

t The temple at Tripetti is said to have been built by Tondaman or Adondai, an 
illegitimate son of a Chola king, in the year 499 of the Kaliynga. The great 8aiva 
Vedantist Sankar&charya resided for some time there ; but at the beginning of the 
tvidfth century the temple was taken possession of by Ramanuja for Vishiui. The 
town lies at the foot of the Eaatem Ghauts on the railway from Madras to Cuddapah ; 
the pBgoda> however, is nearly 10 miles distant from it. On the way up to it there 
are three portals, at the first of which Christians and Mahomedans must stop and 
return. Pilgrims from all parts of India oflTer their gifts to this shrine. Merchant* 
of the distant Guzerat gi?e a part of their profit ; lame people bring a bone of silver ; 
Wind people, a golden eye ; and many ofler to the god Vcnkadachala-perumftl (an 
image of stone, with four arms, and seven feet high), their hair, which, according to 
a vow, they had grown long from their youth up. Of olden times a great part of the 
revenues of the temple flowed into the treasury of the Government of the land ; but 
in 1843 the English Government relinquished their claim to the unholy gain. 


leetion of 1 00 songs in honor of Vishnu, sang everywhere in the pagodns. 3. 
QeaAsL^u>ir3bo Yenkadamala, likewise a collection of 100 songs about Vish- 
nu's deeds and glory in general. 4. ^tfiuujg^ Yarhippattu, a little book 
which contains prayers to Vishnu, and is read when a Vaishnava is 
about to die. 5. g}ffiru>ruju) Ramajaya, a description of Vishnu's deeds 
in his incarnations. 6. eBti^^^CLoeoBimrtasru) VishnamSlyannam, an 
ode on Vishnu. 7. tSardtr^/sJlip Pillaittamirh, a collection of 1000 songs 
ftbout Vishnu's birth and childish (days. 8. ^ihuuBjguiSiekdBefiQ^muiUi 
Sammandappillaitirunamam, 100 songs by Tirumangaiarhvar. 9< o«f 
^SiLfffirmru) Ekadasipurana, the legend of the origin of the fast Ekadaei 
40. s(^L^u(^^irsssffio Garudapanohakshara, a book which contains Man* 
tras, i. e. forms of prayer, in which the bird Garuda, the vehicle of VisbBU 
and destroyer of snakes, is invoked for enchanting snakes and counter* 
acting their poison. 1 1 . &iPira^ffir^ir^thu>tr9sr Srlrangaraj§,-ammanei, i 
book containing diffuse stones about Vishnu. 12. mmnuirff^ut Mahabfaa* 
rata, a large book containing a description of the war of the five Fanda^ 
vas, assisted by Krishna, with Duryodhana and his brethren.* 13. uno^ 
^uiLDirhar Bharata-ammanai, a book of the same contents with the pre- 
ceding, but written in less difficult poetical language. 14. QQ^^eam 
^ff Krishna-dutya, a description of Krishna as embassador of the Panda- 
vas to Duryodhana. 15. s(^<9'ear^thiLtr^ Eansa-ammanai, a book con* 
taining the story of Kansa, Krishna's maternal uncle, who intended to 
^ill Krishna when a child. 16. Qu(T^u>irtgir^uiLDahff Perumal-ammanai, a 
collection of different stories concerning Vishnu. 1 7. QstrmnajBorui Ba* 
mayana, a large poem of 12,016 stanzas about Rama, by the poet Kam* 
ben.f 18. utreosnmt^ffinjDirtuemu) Balakandar3.mayana, a part of the 
Ramayana, treating of Rama's youth, by another author ; 19. tBirsuir^u 
uL^eou) Nagapasa-patala, a book about a cord similar to a snake, fabled 
to kill the enemy by itself ; 20. Qj^fiffB/BM^uut^eoLo Indrajit-patala, a 
description of R§,ma's war with Indrajit,'s son and the con- 
queror of Indra. 2 1 . ^jpLoirm^ilwirdBv Hanum&n-ammanai, like the pre- 
ceding a part of the Ramayana, treating of the ape Hanuman who 
assisted Rama in his war with Ravana. 22. mifirinumsr^^sui Narayana* 
sataka, a little book containing prayers to Vishnu as JSarayana. 23. 
^L^/sm^ ^/B^ir^ Kudandai-antadi, likewise a prayer-book. 24. fi/0i«p« 
Qairmeu Varukkaikkovai, a collection of songs. 26. sC<3^iB^ffQu>iril^LD 
Gajendramoksha, a book about the elephant Gajendra, which was attack- 

* The Mahibharata is, with regard to time, the second of the two great epic poems 
jof the Hindus. Its value as a poetical production has been much impaired by the 
insertion of many lengthy episodes, which have undoubtedly been interpohited, chiefly 
for the purpose of magnifying Krishna, who, in the original poem, occupied a subor- 
dinate place, and was by no means regarded as an incarnation of the divinity. 

fThe Ramayana is the other great epic poem. The original Sanscrit text, by 
Valmiki, contains 24.000 stanzas. The Tamil version, reduced to half the size of 
the original by the poet I^mban. is a work of great poetic merit, and, without doubt, 
the most popular book in Southern India, notwithstanding that Sivaism predomi- 
nates here. 


ed by a crocodile while bathing, bat saved by Vifhnu and transferred 
into bliss. 

In conclusion we quote the following passages of a letter aboutVishnu by 
one of these heathens : *' Vishnu is the lord who looks graciously down 
on all creatures, and preserves them from perishing. He is every where, 
bnt his special dwelling place is in bliss, where according to our religious 
books, there is a mountain of precious stones, and on it a throne of precious 
Btones, on which he sits. Vishnu is holy and spotless ; for the things 
i^hich he is said to have done in his various incarnations, and which seem 
Au£u\ to us can be shewn to be innocent. In olden times namely there 
were giants who, by reason of their severe penance, received great boond 
from the divinities, more especially the promise that they should not be 
killed by any god. In consequence of this, they became very haughty and 
tyrannical ; and as the gods could not kill them as gods, Vishnu and 
others assumed new forms in order to destroy them, without breaking 
their word. Vishnu is, in our opinion, the Supreme Being, who gives 
talvation to aU who love him and believe in him." 



Lakahmi and Bhumidevi, the Wives of Vishnu. 

To VishiHi two wires a^e ftscribed, viz., gijntLmiS Lakskmi and 4^ 
Q/gitSI Bhtlmide^i ; la the opinion of theV aislma^aS) Lakshmi is whatParvali 
ifli supposed to be by the Saivas, namely t^ feminine power or energy of 
tho sufHreme being, emanated fixun the. masculine energy as a distinct 
being. A^d as Sakti (ov F&rraii) is said to have multiplied into many 
SaktiSk so Lakshmi is said to have become ^fa^L^toiLMriB Ashta-Lakshmi| 
i. e. eight Lakshmis^ the names of which, together with their meaning; 
may be seen in the Table.* Maha-Lakshmi, Vishnu's wile, is the chief 
one, in whom the other seven are both contained and worshipped. As 
the goddess of beauty and prosperity, Lakshmi is much reverenced by 
all these heathens, even by the Saivas, who have placed her image in 
Isvara's pagodas ; which honour they do by 410 means confer on Vishnu* 
Lakshmi is also said to have risen from the sea of milk, when it was 
churned by the gods with the view of obtaining the beverage of immor- 
tality, named Amrita.t And because th6 Saivas believe that the Linga 
in the pagoda at fic^dsL^^ir Tirukkadavur, which they call Amrita-Lin- 
ga, has risen from the sea of milk, together with Lakshmi, Amrita, and 
other persons and things, they say that Lakshmi is the sister of Siva, and 
adore her therefore in their pagodas as well as in their houses. 

When Vishnu was incarnate as Eama,. Lakshmi was in the world as 
Slta ; and concerning their birth and marriage a heathen wrote us as 
follows : '* There was once a king, named ^tresr^uisiTniT^9k Janaka-maha- 
raja, who, being childless, did for a long time severe penance, in order to 
get children. Then it came to pass that some of his subjects, while 
engaged in ploughing, found a little box in the field, in which lay a very 
beautiful and lovely child, even Maha-Lakshmi herself ; and when they 
brought it to the king, he received it with great joy, saying : " This is 
the child which God has given me for my penance,'* and adopting the 
lovely girl, he gave her the name of Sita. At the same time, there lived in 
Ayodhya another king, named ^^n^m Dasaratha, who had also no off- 
spring, and did therefore, like the other one, severe penance, in order to 
get children ; whereupon Vishnu was born unto him as Rama. When 
only three years old, Rama began to practice the military arts, and in 
his fifteenth year he had learned all the arts of war as well as all 

♦ See page 8 & 9. 

f Lakshmrs first birth was as the daughter of Bhrigu; then, after having diappear- 
ed for some time, she rose from the sea of milk, concerning which see a few passages 
from the Vishnu Pur&na towards the end of this chapter. 


BcieiiceB. ^ In his sixteenth year he went abroad, aceompasied bj hit 
brolher Lakshmana, to see the different countries of the world, and came 
then also to the capital of Janaka, wheie he saw at the gate of the king's 
palace an enormous bow, which could not be bent bj several thousand of 
ordinary men. Rama, on inquiring for what purpose this enormous bow 
was put there, was informed that to him who could draw it, the king 
would give his daughter to wife. Upon this the king came, and asked 
the two brothers whence they had come. ** We are wayfaring pilgrims," 
answered Rama. '' You do not look so," replied the king, " you look 
rather like Maha Vishnu ; and why do you gaze at the bow ?" ** We are 
astonished, seeing that it is so very great," was Rama's answer ; where- 
upon the king said : ** Will you not try to draw it and shoot an arrow ?" 
f' I will try," replied Rama, and took it, bent it, and discharged an arrow. 
At this the king rejoiced greatly and said to Rama: '^ I will give you my 
daughter ^ila to wife ;" and forthwith dispatching messengers with beteU 
nut to every one of the fifty-six kings that were then in the world, he 
invited them to the marriage of his daughter. All of them came, and 
among them also Dasaratha ; whereupon it became known that Rama 
was his son ; and the marriage ceremony having been performed with 
great splendour under a tent hanging full of pearls, Rama went, together 
with Sita and his father, to Ayodhya, into which they held a most mag- 
nificent entrance," 

; Lakshmi is represented as a womap in a sitting posture, with four 
arms and hands, two of which she has empty and as it were ready to 
give blessings ; the other two she raises, holding in each a lotus fiower. 
On each aide of her stands a white elephant, holding with his trunk a 
^aterppt from which he waters the flowers in Lakshmi's hands. The 
color of her body is yellow ; and her forehead is marked with a red paste^ 
called P(r^^(^a9fBru) Tiruchurana, which is also worn by the women of 
this country. Her ornaments are the same with those of other goddesses, 
iler seat is a little elevated, and behind her lies a- cushion. Thus she ist 
found in the pagodas as well as in many houses ; for of all the images in 
the pagodas miniatures of metal, stone, or wood are made and worshipped 
hy tliese heathens in their dwellings. Lakshmi has no pagodas of her own, 
\iut she is, thrice every day, worshipped with offerings in those of Vishnu, 
where she has a pretty large temple, and she is more or less also adored 
in those of Isvara where she has a little apartment of her own. Nor arq 
there special festivals celebrated in her honor, but she is adored and, 
carried about together with Vishnu at his festivals ; and the Friday is 
set apart as a fast-day in her honor. There are also no special hooka 
firritten about her, except some praises and forms of prayer ; but many 
stories are told of her in the books about Vishnu. 

. Of her many names the following may be mentioned : 1, 9^nei>iL^L3 
Sita-Lakshmi ; 2, ©/Por ©/f<?^6fl Sri or Srldevi (the divine, or the goddess 
of fortunjB) ; 3, isirjiriLiesS Narayani ; 4, uji^&^iuui€nu) Patniammai (the^ 
chaste or faithful lady) ; o, ^(^CeuiEisL^Qpee>t^ajireir Tiruvenkadamudaiyal 
(ppsp<a6|Spre8S4>f Tripctti); 6, ^Qp^fiuQ^^ Samudra-devi (sea-goddess) ^ 



7, ui&sarir(^^€Q MangalSldSvi (goddess of luck) ; 8, p(i^^mfsi£mu> (the 
lady of the sacred lamps) ; 9, uinseL.€itSjDi/BQsirm/B Makadalpirandakothai 
(the lady that was born in the great ocean) ; 10, Qutrtk or Quweinarth Pon or 
Ponnam (gold) ; Q^iiiuirm Chejal (the red or beautiful one) ; 1 1, ^i«<^ 
Akkam (wealth); 12, jii90fru>aar Alarmagal the (water-daughter); Id, 
Quir^&rQ^ioeS Porulchelvi (the rich one) ; 14, ^ird^eaora^ lakkananga 
(she whose beautj excels all others); 16, fi(T^u>a^ 'lirumagal (the 
divine or illustrious daughter) ; 16, ^o)ca>^, Jalnjai (the lotus- born) ; 17, 
^wmQ Janaki (Sita); 18, Qdtriuff&r Ilaiyal (the younger one); 19, 
gj/sfigoff Indrai (the supreme female). 

The following is a description of Lakshmi by a heathen : ** Lakshmi is 
possessed of all divine excellencies. Her form is beauty itself. She has the 
office to grant unto men riches, the eight sorts of happiness, and various 
other gifts which are asked of her. When people desire any particular thing 
they worship Lakshmi, and make offerings to her. Some desire children, 
and make for this purpose offerings to her eveiy morning and evening. 
Others serve her in order to get rid of poverty and sufferings, and to 
obtain riches ; and so on. But the learned and wise do no such thing ; 
they reject all this, and adore only God, the Supreme Being ; whilst the 
common people worship many gods and goddesses." 

Regarding the rising of Lakshmi or Sri from the sea of milk, we quote 
from Wilson's translation of the Vishnu Parana (page 76 etc.) the follow- 
ing passages : ^ Seated on a full-blown lotus, and holding a water-lily in 
her hand, the goddess Sri radiant with beauty, rose from the waves. The 
great sac^es, enraptured, hymned her with the song dedicated to her praise, 
Visvavasa and other heavenly quiristers sang, and Ghritachi and other 
heavenly nymphs danced before her. Ganga and other holy streams 
attended for her ablutions ; and the elephants of the skies, taking up their 
pure waters in vases of gold, poured them over the goddess, the queen of the 
universal world. The sea of milk in person presented her with a wreath 
of neverfading flowers ; and the artists of the gods decorated her person 
with heavenly ornaments. Thus bathed, attired, and adorned, the god- 
* dess, in the view of the celestials, cast herself upon the breast of Hari 
(Vishnu); and there reclining, turned her eyes upon the deities, who 

were inspired with rapture by her gaze ...» The minds of all 

beings were animated by devotion. The three worlds again were rend- 
ered happy by prosperity ; and Indra, the chief of the gods, was restor- 
ed to power. Seated upon his throne and once more in heaven, exercis- 
ing sovereignty over the gods, Sakra (Indra) thus eulogized the goddess 
who bears a lotus in her hand : — 

" I bow down to Sri, the mother of all beings, seated on her lotos 
throne, with eyes like full-blown lotuses, reclining on the breast of Vish- 
nu. Thou art Siddhi (superhuman power) : thou art Svadha and 
Svaha : thou art ambrosia, and the purifier of the universe : thou art 
eveninqr, night and dawn : thou art power, faith, and intt^llect : thou art 
the goddess of letters (Sarasvati). Thou, beautiful goddess, art know- 
ledge of devotion, great knowledge, mystic knowledge, and spiritual 


knowledge which confers eternal liberation. Thou art the science of 
rea!«ontng, the three Y^as,* the arts and sciences : thou art moral atid 
political dcienoe. The world is peopled by thee with pleasing and displeasr 
ing forms. Who else than tho«, oh goddess, is seated on that person of 
the god of gods, the wielder of the mace, which is made of sacrifice, and 
contemf^ted by holy ascetics ? Abandoned by thee, the three worlds 
were on the brink of ruin ; but they have been re-animated by thee* From 
thy propitious gaze, oh mighty goddess, men obtain wives, children, dwell- 
ings, friends, harvests, wealth. Health and strength, power, victory, hap* 
piness, are easy of attainment to those upon whom thou smilest. Thou 
art the mother of all beings, as the god of gods, Hari, is their father i 
and this world, whether animate or inanimate, is pervaded by thee and 
Vishnu. Oh thou who purifiest all things, forsake not our treasures, our 
granaries, our dwellings, our dependants, our persons, our wives : abandon 
not our children, our friends, our lineage, our jewels,, oh thou who abid- 
est on the bosom of the god of gods. They whom tliou desertest are 
forsaken by truth, purity, and goodness, by every amiable and excel- 
lent qualit^ ; whilst the base and worthless upon whom thou lookest 
favourably become immediately endowed with all excellent qualifications, 
with families, and with power. He on whom thy countenance is turned 
is honourable, amiable, prosperous, wise, of exalted birth, and a hero of 
irresistible prowess : but all his merits and his advantages are converted 
into wortlilessness, when thou, beloved of Vishnu, mother of the world, 
avertest thy face from him. The tongues of Brahma are unequal to cele- 
brate thy excellence. Be propitious to me, oh goddess, lotus-eyed, and 
never forsake me more." 

The contrary of Lakshmi is ^Q/s^ MtldSvi (i. e. the elder goddess), the 
goddess of unhappiness, concerning whom a heathen wrote as follows : 
*'When Brahma. Vishnu, and Rudra, together with the 330,000,000 
gods, the 48,000 Rishis, and the other celestials, churned the sea of milk 
to prepare the beverageof immortality, there originated in it, besides various 
excellent things, also poison and Mudevi. MUdevi's business is, to make all 
living creatures drowsy and tired ; the rich, poor ; the high, low ; the 
honoured, hated ; and all men, miserable. She dwells in dark places, 
and joins those who are bent upon doing mischief." No special books 
are written about her, but the poets mention her here and there, and give 
her various names viz., : 1, Q^iLmi^ or c^c^adz. Ch€shta(the elder sister); 
2, QmtLmu, Esttai (she who ruins) ; 3, aeofi Kalathi (she who confuses) ; 
4, QfimLf. Mugadi (poverty) ; 6,/Beaaom Tavvai (elder sister) ; 6, Qifimiim 
^dfijiflirar Indraikkumutt&l (the elder sister of Indrai, i. e. Lakshmi) ; 
etc. She receives no offerings, nor is she worshipped in any pagoda. 

Vishnu's other wife \8 y^tSCj^^ BhuraudSvi, i. e« the goddess of the 
earth. She is represented as a woman with two arms and hands, holding 
in the one a lotus flower, and letting the other hang down empty. Her 

* The Atharvana, or foath Veda, treating as it is of magie, is not so highly 
atleemed as the three first VSdas, named Big, Yajur, and Sama. 

M THE Wins OF TI8HNU. : 

bolor is jellow. On her head she wears a crown ; whilst her Uadt lodn 
hang down as far as her feet. She wears jewels in her nose, and a red 

SLSte on her hrow, and is otherwise adorned like the other goddesses, 
er standing place is a lotas flower. Thus she may be seen on paintings, 
but there is no image of her in any pagoda. She is not worshipped and no 
offerings are made onto her ; nor are feasts and fasts observed in her honor* 
There are also no books written about her ; but she is here and there men^^ 
tioned in the stories about the gods and goddesses, and is said to be Vishnu's 
secondary wife, just as Qanga is said to be Isvara's secondary wife. 

Concerning BhfLmidSvi a heathen wrote us as follows : " £htimide?i it 
the goddess of patience and suffering ; and witness of all that happens on 
earth ; for nothing can be hidden from her." And another one wrote con* 
ceming her : " Bb&nidSvi is the mother that has borne the earth and all 
creatures on it She is everywhere, nourishing, upholding, and protectingallv 
like a kind mother. She is the wife of the great Vishnu, but nevertheless 
so humble and patient, that she allows herself to be trodden upon. Once^ 
when Isvara had killed Yama, the god of death, there was none to fetch 
men from this world to the other ; then she was at last obliged to comr 
plain that she could no longer bear all the multitude of men ; wherenpos 
Isvara revived Tama, that he might fetch men from this world, after thej 
had lived their destined time. Of BhumidSvi, i. e. the earth and nature^ 
we are to learn humility and patience. We worship her by worshipping 
Vishnu and Maha-Lakshmi ; for every thing that is done to them is con* 
sidered to be done also to her. 



ViahnvJs Sons, viz., Manmatha with his ivife Rati ; 
Kusa and Lava (his sons as Rama). 


To Vishnu are ascribed three sons, viz., LDarm^ek Manmatlia, ^^m 
Kusa, and gjeomi&r La?a. Manmatha* is the Indian Cupid, or the god 
of love. He creates sensual love both in mortals and celestials, but more 
especially in the female sex ; whilst his wife gja^ Rati ( lust) infiaroea 
the fire of sensual love in the male sex ; wherefore she may be called 

Manmatha is represented as a natural man, with a crown on his head ; 
and his ears, neck, breast, arms, hands, feet, and the remaining part 
of hia body, are adorned with various ornaments of pearls, precious 
stones, gold, and silver. On his shoulders he wears a ^ir(^uutlm£^ 
Bahupattai, i. e. a shoulder-girdle. In one of his hands he holds a bow of 
sugar-cane, with a string of insects ; and in the other an arrow, ready 
for discharge. On his back he carries a quiver, with five sorts of arrows, 
consisting of five kinds of fiowers.f His standard is a fish ; his vehicle, a 
parrot ; and the color of his body, yellow. Rati, his wife, is represented 
as a female with long black hair, braided into a pigtail that reaches to 
the ground. Like her husband, she wears also a crown, and is on the 
whole adorned and equipped similar to him. 

Concerning Manmatha a heathen wrote us as follows : '* Manmatha, who 
is a son of Yishnu, is possessed of matchless beauty. In olden times he had 
a visible form ; afterwards, however, he became invisible, for the follow* 
ing reason. Once when the gods and all the inhabitants of the fourteen 
worlds had an important matter to bring before Isvara, the latter was 
engaged in deep meditation and would not allow himself to be disturbed. 
Then, in order to induce him to give up meditating, the gods sent Man* 

• Manmatha (the confbnnder of the mind) is Cupid's most common name here in 
the South, and Kama (the lustful) in the North of India. He is said to be the men. 
tal son of Vishnn, and to have become incarnate in Pradyumna, the firstborn of th« 
108/)00 sons of Krishna, who was without a second as regards amours ; whilst Kati 
"became Mayavati, and gave birth to '* the powerful and gallant prince Aniruddha," 
whose feats are related in the Yishnn Pur ana. 

t The u^fursaent, i. e. the five arrows of the god of love consist in the foil wing 
five kinds of flowers : 1, marsib, lotus; 2, (9jSi&> mango ; 3, ^<2*r(s, ashoka ; 4. qp4o2m, 
jasmine ; 5, i^it^ blue water lily. And the u^^^ur^miAmjft i. e. the five efiects pro. 
duced by these arrows are : I. ^OiSuCurmib, tli inking and talking of the person loved* 
2, tSOLSaQursib, sighing and lamenting ; 3, C^rsih, heat or feverishness, nausea and 
languishing ; 4, Quasib, weeping and bewilderment of the faculties ; 5, ammnb, death 
or suspension of the natural powers. 

(See Dr. Wimilow's Tamil Dictionary.) 


matha to excite in him love. And he succeeded ; but Isvara, inflamed 
with anger, opened his third eye on his forehead and burnt him instandj 
to ashes. Rati, his wife, however, went to Isvara, worshipped him, and 
said ; '^ O lord, we have taken liberties, because wo did not sufficiently 
know thy glory and tnight : forgive this insolence and restore my hus- 
band again to life." On this Isvara revived Manmatha, but ordered 
that he should henceforth be visible for no one except his wife.*'* 

From the letter of another one we extract the following passages : 
^Manmatha is supposed to be a son of Vishnu, and in beauty none is 
equal to him even among the gods. His business is to excite the feeling 
of love in women, and to try the heart of those women who do penance. 
Many of these, when they behold the beautiful Manmatha, are inflamed 
with sensual love, and lose thereby the merit of their penance. But 
some, though they see him, do not allow themselves to be disturbed, but 
tell him to leave them alone. They are such as have all their thoughts 
concentrated, and think of nothing but how they may obtain bliss, which 
they then also obtain. There were more especially in olden times giant- 
esses doing penance with the view of obtaining great boons from Siva ; 
and in order to shew Siva which of them really deserved a reward, Vishnu 
sent Manmatha to try their chastity, lest they should obtain great gifts 
unworthily, and aftei-wards abuse them, as many of them did. There is, 
however, among hundred, yea among thousand women scarcely one who 
does not get wounded by Manmatha's arrows." 

*' As regards Rati, she is as beautiful as her husband. Their wedding 
was celebrated with great magniflcence in the presence of all the gods 
and goddesses. Manmatha has taken her to wife, that, by exciting sen- 
sual love in the giffntL^^n- Rakshasas ( giants) who do penance, she may 
prevent them from obtaining great power and invincible weapons, which 
they would only use for the purpose of domineering over men and gods." 

Manmatha has no pagodas, and is also not worshipped ; but the poets 
make much of him in their love stories, and all books about sensual love 
speak of him. Of such may be named 1, Qiseo^LtirS^ Neliaimala ; 2, 
iDirffjfirio Matun^l ; 8, ^p^^^^^ Viralividudiltu. Agreeable to the 
many stories that are related of Manmatha in the Pur§,nas, he has 
got many names, of which may be mentioned : 1, mnuiar Kama (the lust- 
ful) ; 2, ^(^LDJs&rmui/B/BeBr Tirumagalmaintan ( the son of the divine daugh- 
ter) ; 3, u>/rff€k Mara ; 4, Qji/s^ear Chittaja ; 5, mQ^^tk Manoja ; 6, 
wQ^uaiar Manobhava (4, 5, and 6 mean '* the mind- born)" ; 7, ^iiM^ar 
Angaja ( the body-born) ; 8, ^atma&r Ananga ( the bodiless) ; 9, ^u>u 
ffirifl Sambarari ( the destroyer of Sambara) 10, ft-^cfleoeS Uru villi ( the 
beautiful bow-man); 11, LS^jpiQstiTL^i^iuir^Qfitrek Minurukodiyuyartton 
( the bearer of the fish-standard ) 12, g}ff^ssir^ei>€ar Ratikathalan ( Rati's 
husband); 13, ^^m^ar (the god of spring); 14, s(r^flius(i^uLfeSi4o^ 
Earuthiyakaruppuvilii ( the designing sugar-bow-man ) ; 15, sis^nuuiar 
Kandarpa ; 16, mfiorar Madana ( the wanton ) ; ^wireH Ptlvali ( he with 

* See the note on page 63. 


the flower arrow ) ; 18, Q^mppCpQanm TenraldSron ( he whose char- 
iot is the south wind [which is regarded as favorable to love]); 19> 
flf A)e6 Villi ( the bow-man ) ; 20, a?4s>4Wid^fi/ar Ainkanaikirhaven ( the 
lord of the five flower-arrows) ; 21, Qfiiamru>w€0€»u>iB^€k Chenkanm&l- 
maiuden ( Chenkanmal*8, i. e. Vishnu's son ) ; 22 mm^^oK Madhusakha 
( the friend of spring ; 23, QLnnsat Moha ( the lustful ) ; 24, unr^mim 
Jdadhava ( which, however, is abo a name of Vishnu ) ; etc.* 

As regards the other two sons of Vishnu, (^^«r Kusa and gi^omim 
Lava, the flrst was born unto him in his incarnation as Rama by his wife 
Sita, and the second, we are told, was created by the Rishi (sage) Val- 
miki of a ^Q^ueauuLfeo^ DarbhapuUu, i. e. a stalk of the sacred grass 
Darbhn, and then adopted by Sita and Rama.f 

A heathen correspondent wrote us concerning them as follows : " When 
Kama had recovered 8ita from Ravana, and received her again as his 
wife, he heard once how a washerman scolded his wife, who had become 
unfaithful to him and gone to another man, saying unto her : <' Do you 
think I shall fetch and receive you again as my wife, as Rama fetched 
and received his wife, after she had been carried away by Havana ? No, 
I will not do what he did !'* When Rama heard these words, he perceived 
that they were a reproach to him, and saying within himself, '' Shall I 
have less feeling of shame and propriety than washermen ?'' he got 
angry with his wife, and in his anger he sent her into the wilderness, 
when she was six months with child. So the expelled Sita went into 
the forest, where the Rishi Valmiki, her priest, resided. And while she 
was, with a very sad countenance, walking to the forest, the birds flocked 
together and overshadowed her, forming as it were an umbrella, to protect 
her from the sun ; and also the wild beasts, viz., elephants, tigers, bears, 
lions, leopards, stags, and others, came, and bowed to her, and shewed her 
the way to her priest. Having come to him, she fell at his feet, and 
adored him, and being asked by the holy man why she had come such a 
long way, she told him, how her husband had overheard the words of a 
washerman ; and how he had become ashamed of his having taken so 
much trouble for the purpose of rescuing his wife from the hands of 
Ravana, while a washerman was ashamed of bringing home his wife 
after she had been with another man ; and how he then banished her to 

• Regarding Kama, the god of love, Mr. H. H. Wilson, in his Religious Sects of 
the Hindus, makes the following remark. "The light and attactive service of the 
god of love, indeed, appears to have been formerly very popular, as his temples and 
groves make a distinguished figure in the tales, poems, and dramas of antiquity : 
it is a feature that singularly characterises the present state of the Hindu religion, 
that if in some instances it is less ferocious, in others, it lias ceased to address itself 
to the amiable propensities of the hnman character, or the spontaneous and compa- 
ratively innocent feelings of youthful natures For the licentious homsge paid 

to Sakti and Bhairava has little in common with the worship that might be suppos- 
ed acceptable to Kama and his lovely bride, and which it would appear they form-. 
eriv enjoyed." 

f We do not know what authority Ziegenhalg*s correspondent has for his state« 
ment that Lava was created by Valmiki, but we suppose it is the book called 9*t 
•mrmmtjg; usoally, howevcT, Lava is said to have been the twin-brother of Kusa. 


the wilderness. On hearing this, the sage became exceedingly sorry, 
gave hdr a dwelling place of her own, procured for her all she wanted, 
and comforted her, saying : " Mother, remain here ; all will end well." 
Thus she remained in that forest, and after some time she brought forth 
her sou Kusa. When he was about five months old, she laid him one 
day on a mat, near the sage, who was just then engaged in religious me- 
ditation and the performance of certain ceremonies, and with the words, 
*' My lord and my priest : take care of this child ; I am going awaj to 
bathe, but will soon return ?" she went away. Having bathed according 
to the prescribed rules, she returned and took away her child behind the 
sage, without his being aware of it. But when he had finished his de^ 
vout exercises and looked around about him, he missed the child, and 
thinking that a tiger or some other wild beast had carried it away and 
devoured, and that the loss of the child would be exceedingly painful for 
the mother, he took a stalk of grass, called /sffuviuuL/eo^ Darbha-puUuy 
springled it with water, beat it with his staff, called jgf8on-.iTa^^ui Danda** 
yudha, and produced thus a child like Kusa. Sita, having finished her 
devotion, came again to the priest to pay him her respects, when she saw 
a little child lie near him weeping ; whereupon she asked him : '' Lord, 
whence is this child ?" Then he told her what had happened, and how he 
had produced the child, and that she should now adopt it as her son, 
which she then also did, naming him Lava. When the children were 
three years old, they could ali-eady read and write, understood the lawj 
and pi^^ticed military exercises. In their sixth year they were able to 
Use the bow skillfully, and went out every day to shoot all the wild beasts 
they met with, and also robbers. Meanwhile it became known io the 
country that there were in the forest where the sage Valmiki resided two 
boys who killed robbers, giants, and all kinds of wild beasts. Then it 
happened that Rama and his brother Lakshmana came into the same forest 
for the purpose of hunting, and the boys, who were also out hunting, 
saw them, and supposing that the new-comers were robbers, they aimed 
their arrows at thera and put them to fiight. In the meanwhile the 
sage Valmiki, wondering why the boys did not return for such a long 
time, went out to seek them, when he found them engaged in a confiict 
with Rama and Lakshmana ; and recognizing the strangersj he told the boys 
that Rama was their fatlier, and having reconciled both parties with each 
other, he led them to his hermitage, prepared a meal, and reconciled 
Bama also with his wife Sita. Then, having received the blessing of 
the sage, Rama returned with his family to his capital Ayodhya, and 
after a reign of 1 1,000 years he returned to the world of the gods." 

Kusa and Lava are not worshipped by these heathens ; but paintings 
of them as little boys are found in some of Vishnu's pagodas, and they 
are not only mentioned in several books, but there is also a special book 
written about them, which is named (Sy^eoaiarsseo/gf i. e." the story of 
Kusa and Lava." Herewith we close the account of Vishnu's family. ' 



Brahma and his wife Sarasvati. 

The third person * among the Mummurttis is Brahma. Those who 
regard Isvara, Vishnu, and Brahma together as the Supreme Being, say 
that Brahma is the creator ; Vishnu, the preserver ; and Isvara, the des- 
troyer of all. But those who believe in the existence of a Supreme Being 
as distinct from those three gods, say that all things and also the Mum- 
mtirttis were created by the Supreme Being ; who gave then to Brahma 
the office to continue creation in causing all creatures in the world, and 
more especially mankind, to be born, also to fix the time of their existence 
on earth, to order the course of their lives, and to judge them after death, 
according to their works ; to Vishnu the office to support and govern all 
creatures ; and to Isvara the office to cause all to return to their origin 
through death and decay ; and those who profess this doctrine say then 
also that none of the three is allowed to do what he pleases but is to act 
in accordance with the directions of the Supreme Being ; whilst those 
who regard one of the three as the Supreme Being ascribe all, creation, 
preservation, and destruction, to that one. 

Brahma had originally five faces, but subsequently he lost one, concern- 
ing which a heathen wrote us as follows : " There was once a king who 
did severe penance in honor of Brahma, in order that he might create 
for him a wife of surpassing beauty. But when Brahma had created a 
most beautiful female, he himself fell in love with her, and intended to 
commit sin with her. The female, however, fled from him, and took refuge 
with Vishnu ; and as he could not defend her against Brahma, she fled to 
Isvara and complained to him of Brabtna ; upon which Isvara got very 
angry with Brahma and cutoff one of bis five heads, but became then 
himself mad, and in order to get rid of his madness, he came to this world 
and walked about as a beggar".f 

Brahma, therefore, is now represented as having only four heads and 
four faces. On each one he wears a crown ; in his locks he has a string of 
pearls ; on his forehead a spot of Kast^ri ( musk) ; and otherwise he is 
adorned like the other gods. Two of his hands are empty, and the other 
two he raises, holding ia the left one a water-pot, and in the right one a 

* Commonly Brahm&, the fsmcied creator, is named first ; but Ziegenbalg is per- 
fectly right in tteating of him last, inasmuch as Brahma does not at all make a dis> 
tingushed figure among the Indian gods. 

t Accor^g to another legend, Siva cut off Brahma's fifth head because of his 
pride and ^ speaking lies. 



rosary of Rudraksha. The color of his body is tawny. His standing 
place is a flower, and near him stands his vehicle, a bird called ^ekaih 
Annam (swan). Thus, or in a similar noanner, he is represented on 
paintings ; but there are no pngodas sacred to him ; nor stands his 
image in any other pagoda. He is Dot worshipped by these heathens, 
except that the Brahmans chant now and then a hymn in his honor, and 
mention his name at their offerings. And though the four most sacred 
books, the Yedas, are said to have come from him, he is not worshipped 
according to them, nor is there any feast or fast observed in his honor. 
Regarding this fact a heathen says in a letter : " Brahma is not worship * 
ped by us ; but instead of him we reverence the Bra hmans , who are"Big 
oSspnng andhT8*Jwe]Frig place, . ,He w^ohoiiorS the BrahiaaPS^ ^^^"^ 
Brahma, for_aU we 4o ij.qto thenq he cpnsitkrs as being done to him.^^* 

^^jT there are various stories related of Braho^a in the PuranasT he has 
also got various names, viz. 1, tSguidr Brahma ; 2, Qwfi^umL^^Q/fii^ 
Medinipadaitton ( creator of the earth) ; 3, iSfifrm^ek Fitamaha (grand- 
father) ; 4, ^aek Vara ( giver) ; 5, jy^«r Aja ( the unborn) ; 6, u^eaCptm 
Maleroa (the lotus-like) ; 7, Ceu^ar Veda (author of the Vedas) ; 8, mmp 
lUQjek Maraiyaven (like 7) ; 9, g}ir&i^iusaCiusar Hiranyagarbha ( the gblj- 
wombed) ; 10, Qufir/^ar Bodha ( teacher) ; 11, LDr^ifimi/BC^irar Malundi- 
vandon ( he who sprung from Mai's [i, e. Vishnu's] navel) ; 1 2, ^«m 
Gurava ( the old one): 13,.^tiararg^/f^ Annavurti ( the swan-rider) ; 14) 
^FtLf£i>c/ Svayambhu ( the self-existent); 15, ^/si/sar Ananta ( the enc|- 
less) ; 16, piTfS Njani (the wise) ; 17, e^^ Vidhi ( fate) ; 18, oitttBgfi 
areaeir Yanikelvan ( Vani's [i. e. Sarasvati's] husband) ; 19, etfrQ^iQpfi^ 
eipir Yanormutalvan ( the first of the celestials) ; 20, en^Qpsisk JSalmnu- 
]kha (the four- faced ) ; etc. etc. Of the books written about him m^ty 
be mentioned tSnmirm^auuL^^oih Brahmastrapadalam (so called from the 
miracle-working arrow which be grants to ascetics), and iSoQiotrj^fiff^vm 
t^ih Brahmottarakanda (the last chapter of the Brahma^Purana). 

What is still to be said concerning Brahma is contained in the follow- 
ing passages of a letter from a heathen : " Brahma causes all men and 
all the 8,400,000 species of creatures to be born, and to die at the time 
iixed before hand^ But he is not absolute master of the universe ; be is 
only m ^gent of God, the Supreme Being, whose will he doeth. He is 
therefore also not the real creator of ^he world and all the creatores 
therein, but only one of those three lords which God created for the pur- 
pose of creating, preserving and destroying the world. Brahma's dwell- 
ing place is called BrahmalQka (Brahma's world). Brahma is, under 
God, the Supreme Being, the revealer of the four Yedas, through which 
men may knoyv God. Brahina gaye the Yi^das to the prophet Yedavyasa, 

♦ The fcict of Brahma's enjoying no worship whatever is nsnally ascribed to a 
cur^e of Biva. Brahma namely asserted that he had geen an end of Siva, suborning 
a Ketaki flower to confirm his statement by telling a lie ; for which Siva sentenced 
him to be without temples and wori|hipper9- Nevertheless, lying is not rsgavded 
as a great sin among the Hindus. See the note on page 

thai he ouglit make tbem known to the people in tbe world. Fronn 
Braluoa cane also the four principal castes : viz., tbo Biabixians fvon^ 
kU face ; the Kshatrias, or kings and warriors^ from his breast i tk^ 
Vaisyas, or merchants, from his thighs ; and the Stidras, or low oi^derg^ 
from his feet* And because the Brahmans have sprang from Bi ahma's 
face, thej are his offspring /}ar excellence. Brahma is wor:^hipp^<l only by 
the Brahmansi whilst the other castes reverence him under the form oC 
the Brahmanau" 

Brahma has only one wife, named Sarasvati* who is.ppfiftfthe S^kiis, anid 

e goddess pf letters. But id a book entitled «iyi»u^j 

the goddess pt letters. But id a book entitled ^^jfiu^^iBn^ fi(iF,d&aiuaL^i$ 
Anipattuniju-tiruvilaiyadal (L e. the 64 holy sports^ there is a story related 
(tf him according to which he kept two mistresses ; and the ^ge Kapila says 
that he had also intercourse with a woman of the Pariah caste^ which is 
considered to be the meanest of all castes. Besides this, there are also 
other indecent things related of Brahma as well as of Isvura and Visiuio f 
by which these heathens are encouraged to do the same things, where- 
fore also fornication and adultery are very common among them, 

Sarasvati is represented by the image of a female in a standing pos* 
ture, with four arms and hands. In one of the two right ones she holds a 
flower, which she offers to her husband, by whose side she is continually, 
and in the other one, a book of palm-leaves> indicating that she is fund of 
learning and imparts knowledge to those who study. In one of her 
two left hands she holds a string of pearls, called BeutoirS^ Sivamala, 
which serves her as a rosary ; and in the other one, a L^uimsu> Damaru, 
i. e. a sort of small drum. The colour of her body is usually white. In 
her black hair she wears pearls and other ornaments ; whilst her pig-tail 
is so long as to reach to her feet ; and on the whole she is adorned like the 
other goddesses. 

Her imagCy however, is not worshipped in any pagoda, but, like that of 
her husband, only painted or carved as an ornament at pagodas and idol- 
cars. Nor does she receive any of the usual offerings. But there are 
some books setting forth her praise, of which one called ^ir^eufiiu/s^n^ 
Saras vati-antadi is best known. Also a great festival, lasting nine da^s, 
is celebrated is her honor in the month of September, more especially by 
the teachers and their pupils, and by the poets and other writers ; all of 
whom adore Sarasvati and her ask to grant them good understanding and 
knowledge. They make also an image of the goddess, and carry it about in 
the streets with song and music ; and on the ninth day, Sarasvati, together 
with Parvati and Lakshmi, is worshipped by teachers and pupils under 

• This origin of the castes is given in Manu's Institutes and in most of the Pura- 
nas ; but at the time when the Rigvsda was written the Brahmans were not yet a 
distinct caste ; for eve ly one who offers up a prayer is called a Brahman, and Sfldras 
are not mentioned at all. The institution of caste as dej>cribed in Manu*8 code of laws 
diflTers also very much from the present usage, at least here in the South, where the 
SCidrag have as it were taken the rank of the Kshatrias and Vaisyas, and thePariahs 
and other low castes occupy the place of fhe"Sudras, alid'are the servants of the higher 
orden. ' — - 


the form of iheir iron styles ftnd books, bj soldiers under the form of tbefr 
weapons, by Itriisans under that of their tools, etc ; and this is called 
^ff^eafi^m^ SarasYati-plja, and also^^u/^yen^ Ayudha-pHja (instrument 

Of Saradvati Tftrious stories are related in the Puranas, and multifari- 
ous names are giten to her, viz« : 1, jpn^rcafnuuimLo Sarasvati-ammai ; 2, 
c^€0 DSvi ; 3, a^tbmear Kalaimagal (science-daughter) ; '^yUSfiQj9»tnLt^ 
Panuval-atti (science-dame) 5, aniu^fiiB Gayatri (the most sacred verse 
of the y^das, being personified as Sarasvati) ; 6, ^irasr^t/iiT^fi NjanamW;ti 
(wisdom's form) ; 7, ^^sunr^ir Ulagam9.ta (mother of the world) ; 8, 
uiTnfi Bh§,rati (the goddels of speech) ; 9, ^trdatr&r Yakkal (the same as 
8) ; 10, €>;/r«fl Vani (also like 8) ; 11, rsirwaar Nflmagal (tongue-lady) 12 
Qen^LDL^im^ Isaimadandai (ttHisic-girl) ; etc. etc. 

In conclusion we quote from % letter of a heathen about Sarasvati the 

following passage : " Sarasvati is Brahma's wife, and the goddess of wis- 

dqnQ^Jgjftfiwledge^ science^ art^ and learnin^^pne is rftp rgser^^ fifl g ^ ^ J^au -^ 

tiful virgin of sixteen years, and is possessed of j3Ivin.e ,^3^cellencie|^ 

Trom' her have c ome aU_theJiaiigiiages, arts, sciences, and poetryT" one 

^rantfl wiadf^yp, ^^nilftra^p jin^^ n. good'fflembt'y, do quencc, ^'^ ^SqT 

giftSj„_^ Wherefore an annual festival, called Sarasvati-puja, is celebrated 
in her honor. She dwells among men, but her special abode is in the Brah- 
maloka with Brahma her husband. Regarding the question whether the 
gods have material or immaterial bodies, I answer : They have both ma- 
terial and immaterial bodies ; for they can change their form as they 

Herewith we conclude the second part of the genealogy of the Indian 

* A description of this festival will be found hi cbap. ii. of the appendix to part i!.. 


Sacrifices (Puja and Homa) and Mantras, 

1. Sacrifices. 
(Condensed from the German Original.) 

A. Puja, 

Thoagh the reader will have learnt from the preceding pages what 
Puja in general is, a more detailed description of it will here not be out 
of place. Puja means worship of the gods and their images, with the 
proper ceremonies. It is made to aU the principal divinities, and while 
the ceremonies observed at it are always the same, the Mantras or forms 
of prayer vary. Every Ptija consists of three acts and three kinds of 
ofiEerings, viz. 1. the AbhishSka, i. e. the holy anointing, or a sort of 
drink-offering; 2. the DhUpa, i. e. the burning of incense; 3 the Naiv^dya, 
i. e. the meat-offering. 

Before performing PtLja, the priest or worshipper washes and adorns 
himself with the mark of the sect to which he belongs ; then, having 
approached the image or images of his god or gods with devout ges- 
tures, he undresses them, when they are dressed (and the images made of 
metal iare always dressed), and washes them with consecrated water, and 
then he performs P^ja, beginning with the Abhish^ka. In making this, he 
mixes together lemon-juice, sugar-cane-juice, cocoanut-water, honey, oil, 
pulverized sandal wood, etc., and, uttering appropriate Mantras, he pours 
the mixture over the idols. Then comes the DhGpa : having kindled seve* 
iral lamps, he takes in his right hand a censer with sandal and other species 
of odorous wood, as well as frankincense, and while these substances 
are burning he walks round the idol or idoliB, uttering all the while Man« 
trasy and ringing at stated intervals a bell, which he holds in his left hand. 
Having done this, he throws flowers, one by one, on the image, ac- 
companying every thrust of a flower with a Mantra and a ringing of 
the bell. Next and last comes the NaivSdya : having placed butter, 
milk, cream, boiled rice, pancakes, vegetables, etc., before the idols, the 
worshipper dedicates these eatables to the objects of his devotion with 
appropriate Mantras, and having recited all or a certain number of the 
names of the principal god, he and his assistants, or the members of his 
Amily, consume the articles of food. 

In the pagodas, P^ja is performed every day twice or thrice, and at 


very celebrated places even four timeSy ia the morning, at noon, in the 
evening, and at midnight, and that by Brahmans, who are, however, less 
esteemed than other classes of Brahman s. In the larger temples the 
priests are assisted by a smaller or greater band of DSvadasis, i. e. female 
servants of the gods, who dance and sing in honour of the gods in the 
outer apartment of the temple, while the priest is engaged in performing 
FtLja in the inner apartment 

But Pnja is also performed at home by every Brahman of age as well 
as by all those Sudras who have been duly initiated by a priest, and ab- 
stain from desh. These privileged persons have images, made of metal, 
of their favourite gods* in their houses, and perform Pnja to them at least 
once a day, at the end of which they read frequently also a portion of a 
book written in honour of the god. 

B. Homo. 

The H5ma is a sort of burnt-offering, which can be made by ^rabinans 
only. It is, h-^wever, not made every day, but only on special occasions^ 
such as the celebration of a festival, the investiture of a youug Brabman 
with the sacred thread, marriages, and funerals. The method of making 
it is simple : under the utterance of Mantras, five species of consecrated 
wood, together with the Dharba-grass, rice and butter, are kindled and 
burnt ; and the fire is then kept burning as long as the festival or oere^ 
mony lasts. Qreat efficacy is ascribed to this rite. 

2. Mantras* 
(Extracted from Dubois' Manners and Castoms of the People of India.) 

The Mantras, necessary for the performance of every religioud rite, and 
celebrated in all the Hindu books, are hymns of invocation or forms of 
prayer in the sacred Sanscrit langoage, which (to borrow a Hindu ex- 
pression on the subject) have such virtue as to enable him who nttecB 
them aright, to enchain the gods themselves. They ar^ of varioas sorts, 

invocatory, evocatory, deprecatory, conservatory. They are 

turtt'ul, salutary or pernicious, of meafts of them, all effeets may be 
produced. Some are for casting out the evil spirit and driving' him 
away ; some for inspiring love or hatred, for curing diseases or brk^giag 
tiiem on, for causing death or averting it. Some are of a contrary natuie 
to others and counteract their ^ect ; the strongear overcoming the inflo- 
ence of the weaker. Some are potent enough to occasion the deertmction 
of a whole army. There are some even whose awful svmmons the gods 
themselves are constrained to obey.. 

• The Vtta-Saivas worship only the Linpa, and that as pfaalhra only f and some of 
the Yaishuayas have oiily the Salagram, the emblem of Yitiuni, i. •. a stone foand 
«iii the X^ondick and other risers flowing through NepatU. 


" tee I^r6hU»i, or fiunily prieaii, of all Hindgg, understand Uiem bes t 
T«y ara indispN^sably necessary to them for accompanying the ceremo- 
Bin which it is their office to conduct. But in general, all Brabmans 
ale iiftnpfl»M.p^wTth^tJ)^<?fl foriBUlm; agreeably to this Sanscrit strophe : 

** DSvUdbin&m jagatsarvam, 
Mantrildhlnam taddSvatft, 
Tanmantram BrahmanSLdhlnam, 
Br^hmana mama D^at&." 

Whidn may be translated : '< All the universe is under the power of the 

gods i the gods are subject to the power of the Mantras: the Mantras are j 

under the power of the BrSLhmans ; the BrSLhmans are therefore our gods." / 

Whkn the Brabmans are rallied upon the present state of their Mantras, 
wholly divested as thev are of their boasted eflficacy and power, they 
answex^ that this loss of their influence is to be attributed to the Kali-yu*- 
ga, i* e. the age of the world in which we now live, the iron age, the time 
of evil iind misfortune, in which every thing has degenerated. Never-* 
theless, tney subjoin, that it is still not uncommon to see the Mantras oper- 
ate effeclslts miraculous as formerly ; which they confirm by various stories. 

Of all t\ie Mantras, the most celebrated, and at the same time the 
most effectikil for blotting out all sins, and of such potency as to make 
the gods thetnselves tremble ( as the Hindu books afiirm) is that to which 
they give the name of Gsiyatrl, or the Mantra of twenty-four syllables, 
and which consists of the following words : 

" Tat savitur varenyam bhargodevasya 
** Dbimahi dhiyo yo naha prachodaj at." 

The meaning of th^se words — known to but few Brabmans— ^is : '^ We me- 
ditate on that excellent light of the divine sun : may he illuminate our 
jBotnds T' The Brahman when about to recite this Mantra, makes a pre- 
vipua preparation by prayers and deep meditation . Before pronouncing a 
word, he closes all the apertures of his body, and keeps in his breath as 
long. as it is possible to retain it ; and then he recites it in a low voice, 
taking good care that it shall not be intelligible to the Siidras and the 
rest of the profane. Even his wife, especially at certain periods, is not 
allowed to hear it. 

Although ^tbg^ B rabm ans alo ne are held to be^the true depositari^^of 
the MantrasTyet Utere are many persons oToiher castes who scruple not 
ftriTrondunce them. T here are profeas^Qpg f^\a^ in whinK ti^p jUnntrnA 
are indispensible 
Ignorant oeln 

eijmji^djto it ingthcr^jgsj^cts, if they were not acquainted witTTtEe 
Mantras suHedToTeact disease as well as wTtirtTTe medicines which arc 
a££lie(l in mh ?5tlf6. The cure is considered as arising from the Mantras 
as much as frOflTHfrTnedical applications. One of the principal reasons, 
for which the European physicians are held in discredit in India, as far 
as regards their profession, is, that they administer their medicines with- 
out any Mantra. 


Another class of persons who mast understand Uie Mantras are the mid- 
wives ; for never can those holy prayers he more necessary than at that 
crisis when, according to the notions of the Hindus, a tender infant and 
a newly delivered mother are particularly liable to the fascination of evil 
eyes, to the malign conjunctions of the planets, the influence of unlucky 
days, and many other dangers, each more perilous than another. A skil- 
ful midwife, stored with good and servicable Mantras, pronounced at the 
proper moment, and without mistake,* provides against all such feel's 
And dangers. 

But the persons who are considered to be the most skilful in this kind of 
knowledge, and at the same time the most dangerous, are those who deal 
in the occult sciences / such as magicians, sorcerers, and soothsayers. 
It is this sort of practitioners who pretend to be possessed of the true 
Mantras which can strike with sudden death, cure and inflict diseases, 
call up or lay the fiends, discover thefts, concealed treasures, distant ob- 
jects, or future events. The greater pa rt of thft p.rnflfl ftp.fii(^^,nf« tfin-t lip- 
fal the Hin dus in^Hfe are attr ibuted to the jealousy o fsome e nemy who 
has bad r ecourse to tbFa'w jcEed art for the pu rpose o f mj urtnfThem * If 
they lose a wTfe or children by premature deatK"; or it a married woman 
continue unfruitful: none of these occurrences is believed to have had or 
to have a natural cause, but they are all ascribed to preternatural arts em- 
ployed by some secret enemy of their prosperity. Diseases, particularly 
such as are of long endurance, are attributed to the same cause, and if 
they should happen to take place while any quarrel or law-suit subsisted 
between the parties, the whole is laid to the charge of the opponent, who 
is accused of having devised it by magical contrivance. So serious a 
charge, to be sure, is not in general very patiently borne by the party ac- 
cused ; and thus a new cause of dissension is engendered. 

It is to counteract the eflects of this wicked magic that a great number 
of vagabonds roam over the country, who call themselves beneficent ma^ 
gicianSf and who are supposed to possess the Mantras that have power to 
heal the disorders and other evils occasioned by the Sapana, i. e. cursing 
or malignant magic, the power to render barren women fruitful, to cast 
out devils from those who are possessed with them, to cheque the murrain 
among the cattle, to destroy the insects which ravage the fields, and to 
produce other beneficial effects. After carefully reciting all their Man- 
tras and performing a number of ceremonies, they give amulets to their 
patients, on which are inscribed some unmeaning words ; and these sa- 
cred symbols they direct to be worn about their persons, as having virtue 
to complete the cure which the Mantras had begun. They then take 
their fee and go in quest of fresh dupes. So much about the Mantras. 

♦ The slightest imperfection or defect in pronouncing the Mantras is sup- 
posed to make them ineffective. 



A Description of some of the principal Hindu Festivals, 

(From the German Original and Dubois' Manners and Customs 

of the People of India.) 

1. fid^ds^tuirtuni) Tiruhalydna^ t. e. the Sacred Wedding. 

This festival is celebrated in commemoration of Siva's or Isvara's mar- 
riage with Parvati. Like every other festival celebrated in honour of 
Siva or Vishnu and the members of their famih'es, it is opened by the 
Brahmans with various ceremonies, accompanied hj Mantras. These 
ceremonies consist in putting the regents of the cardinal points* in the 
corners of the pagoda, in making a Homa,t in raising a flag-staff, and 
in fastening a flag to it, which is done bj the chief priest of the place. 
The festival lasts usually nine or ten days, during which the daily off*er- 
ings are made on a larger scale ; and Isvara, Parvati, Vighnesvara, Su- 
bhramanya, and TandSsvara, are carried about every morning and even- 
ing in the streets ; viz., on the first three days under a sort of canopy ; 
on the fourth day on a seat called iSt^ui Fitha ; on the fifth on a bull, 
when very many people come to adore Isvara, for a great reward and re- 
mission of all sins are promised to those who adore him riding on a bull ; 
on the sixth on an elephant ; on the seventh on a lion ; on the eighth 
on mount Kailasa, i. e. on a throne resembling that mount, on which 
day also the worshipper is promised a special reward. On the ninth 
day, Isvara, Parvati, Vighnesvara, Subhramanya, and Tandesvara 
are carried about on five large cars X On the tenth day Isvara and his 
consort are adorned and placed under a portico within the walls enclosing 
the pagoda ; and near it a Pandal, i. e. a bower or temporary shed, is 
erected, and adorned with flowers, branches of trees, cocoanutsand other 
fruits. There then a great multitude of people assemble to enjoy the 
music, together with the singing and dancing of the Devad&sis, i. e., the 
dancing-girls. The musicians and dancing-girls assist also on the other 
days, more especially at the great processions in the evening, when they 
march before the idols, which are followed by many Brahmans and Pan- 

* An account of the regents of the cardinal points will be found in Chap. IV. 
of Part IV. 

t See a description of the Homa in the previous chapter. 

% See a description of these cars on page 48. 



darams, beating cymbals and singing the praises of Isvara and his con- 
sort ; and these again by a multitude of common people. At these pro- 
cessions they have also many torches and a display of fireworks. 

When the festival is over, they put the regents of the cardinal points 
in their usual place and remove also the fiag-stafif ; and on the following 
day the Devadasis have a sport of their own. 

2. QuQ^Loirw fi(^iBirw PerumdUtirundl t. e* PerumaFs or Vishnu^s 

Sacred Day, 

This festival is celebrated by the Yishnubhaktas in honour of Vishnu, 
The beginning is made with the same ceremonies as those described in 
connection with the festival called Tiru^alyana ; only the Mantras are 
different. The festival lasts ten or eleven days, and at some places 
still longer. On every day, Vishnu, together with his consort, is carried 
about in the streets with great pomp ; viz., on the first two days in a 
palanquin ; on the third day on his special vehicle, the bird Garuda; on 
the fourth on the monkey Hanuman ; on the fifth on a lion ; on the sixth 
under a small arch or bow of metal, called Tiruvasi ; on the seventh under 
a large Tiruvasi ; on the eighth on a horse ; and on the ninth on a 
large car. At these processions the idols are followed by many Vaishnav& 
Brahmans, beating cymbals and chanting the praises of Vishnu, and 
the Brahmans by a multitude of common people. On the tenth day — 
a very holy day — Vishnu is, for the last time, carried about early in the 
morning : and in the evening of the eleventh day, which is called Dharb& 
Tirunal and also Teppatirunal, he and his consort Lakshmi are seated on 
a couch of Darbha-grass, placed on a raft in a tank ; and Brahmans» 
musicians, and dancing-girls having entered on the same raft, it is floated 
from one end of the tank to the other, thrice, in the sight of a multitude 
of people standing at the banks, which are studded with many lights, and 
adorned with many flowers. 

3. Ayudha-Puja, 

This festival is celebrated in September in honour of the three princi- 
pal Saktis, Sarasvati,* Parvati, and Lakshmi, who are then worshipped 
under the form of all sorts of Ayudhas, i. e., tools and implements. At 
this festival every artisan, every labourer, in short, all Hindus, make 
offerings and supplications to the tools and implements which they use in 
the exercise of their various professions. The labourer brings his plough, 
hoe, and other instruments which he uses in his work. He piles them 
together, and offers to them a sacrifice consisting of incense, flowers, 
fruits, rice, and other seminal articles ; after which he prostrates himself 
before them at his full length, and then returns them to their places. The 
mason offers the same adoration and sacrifice to his trowel, his rale, and 

* The poets, teachers, and pupils adore chiefly Sarasvati, the goddess of 
learDing, and therefore the festival is also called Sarasvati -pnj^. 

HINDU FBSriV4Ii8. 107 

\d» otker iastniments. The carpenter is no less piotfs with r^;ard 
to his hatchet, his adtfe, and his plane% The harber^ to<y» collects his 
mzors in a heap» and adores them with similar rites. The writing 
master makes an offering to the iron pencil or style with which he writes; 
the tailor to his needles ; the weaver to his loom ; the tnitcher to his 

The women heap together their baskets, the rice-mill, the wooden 
cylinder with which they bruise the rice, and the other household im* 
plements ; and fall down before them, after having made the offerings 
described above. Every person, in short, sanctifies and ad<Nres the in- 
sirument or tool which he or she principally uses in gaining his or her 
livelihood. The tools are considered as so many deities, to whom they 
present their supplications, that they may continue propiUous, and fur- 
nish them still with the means of living. So universal is the feeling 
among the Hindus to deify and honour whatever can be usuful or pernio 
cioas,* whether animate or inanimate! 

Tiie festival is concluded by erecting a shapeless statue in each 
village, composed of paste from grain. It is intended to represent the 
Sakti either of Brahma or Vishnu or Siva ; and being placed under a 
sort of canopy, it is carried about through the streets with great pomp, 
and receives the homage of the inhabitants, who flock together to render 
it their adorations. 

4# The Pongal or Sankrdntu 

The Pongal is the greatest of the unsectarian festivals of the Hindus. 
It is celebrated at their astronomical new year when the sun enters 
Capricorn about the 11th of January; and lasts three days; during 
which the Hindus employ themselves in mutual visits and compliments, 
something in the same manner as the Europeans do on the first day 
of the year. The feast of the Pongal is a season of rejoicing for ^ , 
two special reasons. The first is, that the month of Magha, i. e. f**^^ 
December — January, every day in which is unlucky, is now over; 
and the other, that it is succeeded by a month, each day of which is 

For the purpose of averting the evil effect of the baleful month of 
Magha, about four o'clock in the morning, a sort of Sannyasis, i. e. pe- 
nitents, go from door to door of every house, beating on a plate of iron 
or copper, which produces a piercing sound. All who sleep, being thus 
roused, are counselled to take wise precautions, and to guard against the 
evil presages of the month, by expiatory offerings, and sacrifices to Siva, 
who presides over it. With this view, every morning, the women scour 
a space of about two feet square before the door of the house, upon 
which they draw several white lines with flower ; and upon these they 
place several little balls of cow-dung, sticking in each a citron blossom. 

* Poisonoais makes ar«, if not actnally worshipped, at least held sacred. 


These little balb are pirobably designed to represent Vighiiesvftrft, Ae 
remover of obstaclen^ whom they desire to propitiate with the ffower. 
Each day these little lamps of cow-dang, with their flowers, are fncked 
up and preserved in a private place, till the last day of the month 
Magha; and when that comes, the women, who are alone charged with 
this ceremony, put the whole in a basket, and march from the honse, 
with musical instruments before them, clapping their hands, till they 
reach some waste place where they dispose of the relics. 

Then, with the first day of the new month begins the festival, the first 
day of which is called Bhogi Pongal, i. e. Indra*s Pongal, and it is kept 
by inviting the near relations to an entertainment, which passes off with 
hilarity and mirth. 

The second day is called StLrya Pongal, i. e. Pongal of the Sun, be- 
cause it is set apart in honour of the sun.* Married women, after puri- 
fying themselves by bathing, which they perform by plunging into the 
water without taking off their clothes, and coming out all wet, set about 
boiling rice with milk, in the open air, and not under any cover ; and 
when it begins to simmer, they make a loud cry, all at once, repeating 
the words : Pongal, Pongal ! The vessel is then lifted off the fire, and 
set before the idol of Vighn^svara, which is placed close by, and after 
having been offered to the image, part of the rice is given to the cow; 
and the remainder distributed among the people. 

This is the great day of visits among the Hindus. The salutation 
begins with the question, '' Has the milk boiled ?" to which the answer 
is, ** It has boiled ;*' and from this the festival takes its name " PongaV 
i. e. "boiling." 

The third day is called the Pongal of cows. On it they mix in a 
great vessel filled with water, some saffron, cotton seeds, and leaves of the 
Margosa tree ; and then going several times round all the cows and 
oxen belonging to the house, they springle them with the water, as they 
turn to the four cardinal points ; and make the Sashtanga, or prostration 
of the eight members, before them four times. This ceremony is per- 
formed by the men only. Next the cows are all dressed out, their boms 
being painted with various colours, and garlands of flowers and foliage 
put round their necks and over their backs. They likewise add strings 
of cocoanuts and other fruits, which are soon shaken off by the brisk 
motion of the animals, which these trappings occasion, and are picked up 
by children and others, who follow the cattle on purpose, and greedily 
eat what they gather, as something sacred. The cattle then, being 
driven, in herd, through the villages, and made to scamper about from 
side to side by the jarring noise of many sounding instruments, are, dur- 
ing the remainder of the day, allowed to feed at large without a keei)er ; 
and whatever trespasses they commit are suffered to pass without notice 
or restraint. 

* It is also called Perum Pongal, i. e., great Pongal. 


At ibe conclusion of the festiTal they take the Idols from the temples, 
and oany them in pomp to the place where the cattle have been again 
collected. The girls of pleasure, named DSvadasis, who are found 
at all ceremonies, are also not wanting here. They march at the head 
of a great concourse of people ; now and then making a pause to exhibit 
their wanton movements and charm the audience with their lascivious 

From the description of the above four festivals, an idea may be form- 
ed of the manner in which all the festivals of the Hindus are celebrated. 
The festivals form a principal part of their divine worship ; but, in 
reality, they are nothing but sports, made up of diversion and amuse- 
ment, and accompanied by dances, shows, and lewdness ; but just be- 
cause they are such, the Hindus are exceedingly fond of them, and not 
willing to exchange their system of gross idolatry, which enjoins them, 
for the religion that teaches us '' to worship God in spirit and in truth, 
as He himself is Spirit." (John iv. 24.) 



The Purohitas and Gurus. 
(Extracted from Dubois' Manners and Customs of the People of India.) 

1. The Purohitas. 

** The most ancient name for a priest by profession,** says Prof. Max 
Mtiller " is Purdhita, which means prepositus or prases. The Puro- 
bita, however, was more than a priest. He was the friend and conn- 
seller of the chief, the minister of the king, and his companion in peace 
and war. The original occupation of the Purohita may have consisted 
in the performance of the usual sacrifices; but, with the ambitious policy 
of the Brahmans, it soon became a stepping stone to political power." 

The office of a Purohita now-a-days is, in the words of the Abb6 
Dubois, to prognosticate what are good and what are evil days for begin- 
ning any affair, or for putting it off ; to avert, by Mantras or prayers, 
the pernicious effects of maledictions or the influence of malign con- 
stellations ; to assign names to new born children and calculate their 
nativity ; to bless new houses, wells, or tanks ; to purify temples and 
consecrate them ; to imbue idols with the divine essence : all these cere- 
monies, and many others of smaller importance, are the province of the 
Brahmans called Purohitas. 

The most important of the ceremonies over which they preside are 
those of marriages and burials. They are so complex that an ordinary 
Brahman would be found incapable of performing them. A regular 
study is necessary for the exactness and precision which they require ; 
and Mantras are requisite of which the greater part are ignorant. The 
Purohitas alone are accomplished in the management of these rites, the 
detail of which they have in writing, in certain formularies, which they 
permit nobody to see, not even the other Brahmans. Indeed the prin- 
cipal Mantras that are used are not reduced into writing, from the fear 
that some other Brahmans might acquire them, and so become their 
rivals, to the diminution of their exclusive profits. The father teaches 
them to his son, and thus they pass from generation to generation in one 
family. This shows that it is self-interest rather than superstition 
which occasions this reserve. By hindering the other Brahmans from 
learning these ceremonies and the corresponding Mantras, the Puro- 
hitas render themselves necessary to the people and to the Brahmans 
themselves, who cannot dispense with their services on many occasions. 


One of the highest privileges attached to the profession of thePor5hita 
18 the exclasive right of publirthiog the Hindu Almanac. There are hut 
few who are found capable of making the calculations ; perhaps one or 
two only in a district. It fs not upon a knowledge of the motions of the 
heavenly bodies that the Hindu Almanac is compiled, but upon the ap- 
proximation and agreement of numerous tables and formula of great 
antiquity and therefore the calculation is very complicated, and much 
time, attention, and labour is required to arrive at exact conclusions. 

The Hindu calendar is called Panehdnga, i. e. five members, because 
in truth it contains five principal heads, namely, the days of the month, 
the sign in which the moon is each day to be found, the day of the week, 
the eclipses, and the place of the planets. It likewise marks the good 
days^and the evil ; those on which one may journey towards any of the 
four cardinal points ; for each point of the compass has its lucky and 
unlucky days ; and a person who might to-day travel very successfully 
towards the north, would expose himself to some grievous danger if he 
took a southward course. It farther contains a vast number of predic- 
tions of all sorts which would be too tedious for this place. 

On the first day of the year, the Por5hita assembles the principal in- 
habitants of the place where he lives. In their presence he announces, 
by sound of trumpet, who is to be king of the gods for that year, and 
who is to be supreme over the stars. He determines also the quantity 
of rain and of drought, and foretells, in short, whether it is to be a year 
of health or of disease; whether the deaths or the births shall predominate, 
and many other contingencies of equal importance. 

2. The Gurus. 

The Gurus are a class of priests carefully to be distinguished from the 
PurShitas. The appellation of Guru, i. e. spiritual teacher, is applied to 
persons v^ho are supposed to excel others greatly with regard to sanctity 
and spiritual wisdom. jEach caste and^ect has its particular Guru, 
who may be either a Brahman or a'Sndra, and who is invested with 
great power. He superintends the people belonging to his sect in 
his jurisdiction, and enforces the due observance of the rules and 
customs by punishing the refractory. He has also the power of expell- 
ing from the caste, and of restoring those who had been expelled. But 
all Gurus are not invested with an equal degree of authonty. There is 
a gradation among them, and a kind of hierarchy has grown up among 
them, which preserves the subordination of one to another. The ii>ferior 
Gurus derive their power from the superior, who can depose them at 
pleasure, and appoint others in their room. 

When the people come into the presence of the Guru, they make thd 
Sashtanga, i. e. prostration of the eight members, and this, when follow- 
ed by the Guru's Asirvada, i. e. benediction, is effectual for the remis- 
sion of all sins. The look even of a Guru has the same efficacy. The 


PrM&dp> i.e.» the preieni which the Garu confers upon his disciples con«sU 
in things otherwise of small value, such as a portion of cow-dung ashes, 
to beautify the forehead, flowers that were previously offered up to idols, 
the crumbs from his meals or the water in which he had washed his feet, 
which is preserved and sometimes drunk by those who receive it. These 
and other things of like nature coming from their holy hands, possess. 
the virtue of purifying body and soul fVom all uncleanness. 

But if the benediction of the Guru and the other little tokens of his 
favour, which he bestows on his disciples, have so wonderful an in- 
fluence in attracting the respect and reverence of the silly populace, bb 
curse is thought to be not less powerful and fills them with terror and 
awe. The Hindus are persuaded that it never fails to take effect, whe- 
ther justly or injustly incurred. Their books are full of stories which 
seem to have been invented for the express purpose of inspiring this be- 
lief ; and, to add greater force to it, the attendants of the Guru, who 
are interested in the success of the imposter*s game, do not fail to recount 
many marvellous stories respecting him, of which they pretend to have 
been eye-witnesses ; and to avoid any possibility of detection, they lay 
the scene of the miracles in some distant country. 

The Gurus, in general, rank as the first and most distinguished order 
of society. Those who are elevated to this great dignity, receive, in 
most cases, marks of reverence or rather of adoration which are hardly 
rendered to the gods themselves. But this is not surprising when it is 
understood that the power of controlling the gods is generally attributed 
to them, by which it b supposed they have the means of obtaining 
whatsoever the deities can bestow. The proverbial saying is : 

^* Sarva dSva maya guruh." 
" The Gum is the embodiment of every divinity." 


Some of the Gurus are married ; but in general they live in celibacy ; 
whereas the Purohita must be married. The foolish people believe that 
their Gurus are moulded of a better clay than other mortals, and that 
they are not subject to evil and sin, though the unmanied Gurus are 
known to be not very strict in the observance of the virtue of continence 
which thay profess. As a rule, the Gurus reside in a kind of monaste- 
ries or insulated hermitages, named Matas. The place of residence of 
the principal Gurus is commonly called Simhasana, i. e., throne, and that 
of the inferior ones Pitha, i. e., seat. 

The great Gurus never appear in public except with great pomp ; bat 
it is when they proceed to a visitation of their district that they are seen 
surrounded with their whole splendour. They commonly make the pro- 
cession on the back of an elephant, or seated in a rich palanquin. Some 
of them have a guard of horse, and are surrounded with troops both 
cavalry and infantry, armed with pikes and other weapons. Several 
bands of musicians precede them playing on all the instruments of the 
country. Flags in all the varieties of colour wave round them, adorned 


with the pictures of their gods. Some of their officers take the lead» 
singing odes in their praise, or admonishing the spectators to be prepared 
to pay the mighty Guru, as he comes up, the honour and reverence 
which are due to him. Incense and other perfumes are burnt in pro* 
fusion ; new cloths are spread before him on the road. Boughs of trees, 
forming triumphal arches, are expanded in many places on the way 
through which he passes. Bands of young women, the dancing girls of 
the temples, relieve each other, and keep up with the procession, enliven* 
^g it with lewd songs and lascivious dances. 

. During the visitation, their principal object is to amass money. Be* 
rides the ^nes which are levied from persons guilty of offences or any brea* 
ches of the ceremonies of the caste or sect, they often rigorously exact 
from their adherents a tribute to the utmost extent of their means* 
This is called P&da-kanika, i» e*, feet-offering. There is no affront os 
indignity which the Gurus are not disposed to inflict on any disciple, who 
fails, either from inability or unwillingness, to pruduce the sum at 
which he is rated, and in the last resort, they threaten to inflict tli0 
pi^rse* And such is the credulity of the timid Hindu, and such is tbo 
dread of the evils he supposes to spnng from the malediction of a Guru,, 
that this extreme denunciation seldom fails to exact the payment. 

The dignity of Guru descends, among the married, from father to son ; 
bat upon the death of one who has lived single, a successor is appointed 
by some one of the grand Guriis, who, in the exercise of this power, ge- 
nerally nominates one of his own dependants. 



Hindu PhiloBopher$ cmd Philo$ophy. 

The Hindus hare been styled ** a nation ot philosophers,'* «nd, indeed^ 
teem olden times, they have had their philosophical systems, styled Sas- 
tras, <^ which six are enumerated, viz., the Nyiya^Vais&hika, Sankfaya^ 
V^gtky Mimansaf and Vfid&nia. All these systems^ ascribed as they are to 
eelebrated Rishis or sages, had once their adherents ; but now-a-days 
Mily the iast one of them, the Vedant% has still follower9 here » 
Soathem India, and that not a feir, seeing that it is considered to be th^ 
<)rtkodox Sai^a pbiU>Bophy. It is also styled Ad^aita, i. e., son-duaHty^ 
In contradistinction to two other systems, set np by Vaishnava phileso*> 
pherS) and styled YiMshth&dvaita, i. e^, qualified non-duality, and Dvaita^ 
i^e^, duality) respectively. These three are the systems now in vogue 
in Southern Iitdia, and an oatline d them, as well as of the lives of thei^ 
founders or principal diampions, t<^ther with some remarks on Budd- 
ht^a and Jainism, will here not be oot of place* 

1. Sankara Achdryaetnd the .Vidctnta or Advaka Spsteik.^ 

The most celebrated professor of the Vsdanta was Sankara Acharya ; 
and regarding him we learn from Prof. H. H. Wilson's Hindu Sects, 
that he lived about the eighth or ninth century, and was, according to 
most accounts a native of Kgrala or Malabar, of the tribe of Nambnri 
Brahmans, and in the mythological language of the sect, an incarna- 
tion of Siva. According to other traditions, he was bom at Chitamba- 
ram (Chellambram), although he transferred his residence to Malabar; 
whilst the K^ala Utpatti (a political description of Malabar) recognises 
Malabar as his native place, and calls him the offspring of adultery, for 
which his mother Sri-Mahadevi was expelled her caste. 

*' In Malabar, he is said to have divided the fbnr original tribes into 
seventy-two, or eighteen sub-divisions each, and to have assigned them 
their respective rites and duties. Notwithstanding this, he seems to 
have met with particular disrespect, either on account of his opinions, or 
his origin, or his wandering life. On his return home, on one occasion, 
his mother died, and he had to perform the funeral rites, for which his 
relations refused to supply him with fire, and at which all the Brahmans 
declined to assist. Sankara then produced fire from his arm and burnt 
the corpse in the court-yard of the house, denouncing imprecations to the 
effect, that the Brahmans there should not study the Vedas, that religious 
mendicants should never obtain alma, and that the dead should alwajs 

be' tonrt cleee to t&e h6ii0e» lA wUeh they luid ' rasMeil-^A Jcu^tom^ 
which is said (o faavo survived \am» ) 

— ** AU ftocounts €on€ur in represefiUag Sankara as leading $n eitaliC: 
life, and engaging in soeoessftil controversy with varioijs eeots^ whethei^ 
Saiva, or Vaisbnava, or <^ less ortbod<n( ofauions as the Suddhists An4 
«%inas. In the course of his peregrinations, he. established 43eTeiiil 
Maths, or cooTtnts^ under the presideaoe of his ^sdpleS) p9riicularl7 one^ 
still floarisbing, at Sriogeii, or Sringifi,.oa the western Ghats, near the 
souroes of the TiingabhMUra» Towards the close of l|is life, he repaired 
as £» as KaBbmlr, aad sealed himself after ti*iu«phing ever various 
o^ipoaents^ on the throae of SarasvatL He next went to Bi^arikasrama,; 
wad laall7 t» Kedaniitb, ia the Himiiaya, where be died at the earijF 
aga of Ibirtj-two. The events of bis last days aiee oonfirmed by lo<^ 
traditions, aM the Fitha^ or throne of SarasvaU, on, which SankarK 
sat; is still shown ki Kf^hmtr; irhilst at the temple of Sivii nt Badarir 
a Malabar firahsisOf df the NambfUri tribe, has always l»€ie«» the o$ciatio|^ 
friestt ' • 

. ^ The lailueBca exercised by Sankana in. person, has been ^^petqaie^ 
by his wrilifigs, the most eminent of which are his l^hftshyas, or com>^v 
imtsties <mi the Sutras or Aphorisms of Vyasa. A commentary on the 
Bhagavad Gita, is also ascribed to him, as is one on the Nri^ipha Tapa*^ 
Biji Upaniishik^ and A Oentb of veraesia praiseof Diirg«< The Saunda- 
tjsk Li^ari is likewise said to be fa»» compo^tion#" •» 

As rounds die doetride of SankfMPa i^cbHrya, the so-called Yedantay, 
ike translator will try to give the readervsome idea of this most subtile, 
(Bost&tttaatical, abdr most absurd philosophy, by extracting some length j. 
passages from a work on Hindu philosophy, entitled " A Jiational Refu-^. 
tatton of the Hindu Philosophical Systems, by Nehemiah Nilakant^a. 
fiastri Gore ; translated from the original Hindi by Fitz. Edward Hall,. 
». 0. I* Oxon," 

" Tba V€(^nUns $rgue . three sorts of existence ; and one m^ 
thoroughly comprehend and ponder tbem^ in order to take in the mean-, 
log of their 3Cbe»e. These they designate as true, practicalt ^d ap« 
parent. That which verily exists is called true, and its existence* true 
'^mtemie ;. and this existei^ee, apoording to the Vedanta, is predicable 
ejtcUisively of Brikhma [the supreme, or rather universal spirit] pn^« 
Xhe secoTMl 4)ecie« 4>f existence has the naupe of practical. The thii^ 
to which it belongs do not veritably exist : only the misapprehensive, of: 
ignorant, mistake them £or existent, and by means of them transaci^ 
pcaciioal lifes wbenee the epithet practical existence. And it mus$ 
he kept is mind, that, as the things just spoken of are thoygbt t^ 
be aot veritably existent, but to be imagined by ignorance, precisely 
^o it is withi the use made of tfaem^ For instance, a nxan in a drean^ 
MiKikg w»t^, or mounts a horse; the water and the horse are VJ7 
^^^ I 9^d Sft are the prinking and the mQunting. If a, thing if 
i^ot veritable, the use to which one puts it, can also nCt be veritable; 


for, to have Teritable dealings wilh that whibh is false, is imp068fi>lf« 
Can a man in his waking senses bathe in a river that he saw in his^ 
sleep ? The things which, agreeably to the phraseology of the Ydd&n- 
tinsi are practical, are the very things which til men^ themselves except* 
ed, call tme : and such are Isvara;* or the malter of the wcnrld) seals, and 
all the world besides. Their existence these philosophers hold to be the 
resalt of ignorance ; and such existence is termed, bj them, praetictL 
The third species of existence, denominated apparent, resembles the 
practical, in that it is false, but, by mistake, seems to be veritable. It 
difl^rs, however, from the practical in three respects. First, the ignorant, 
that is to say, ordinary men, do not constantly, but only now and then, 
mistake for veritable the apparent objects to which it appertains, as 
nacre for silver, and the matters of a dream for the things themselves. 
Nor, secondly, is there any practical dealings with these things. Ijst a 
man who mistakes nacre for silver offer it for sale : he will not get for it- 
the price of silver ; for it will be recognised, by oUiers, as another sab* 
stance. Thirdly, it is because of ignorance, that the practical seemr 
veritable : but it is by reason, sidditionally to ignorance, of distance and 
other causes, called defects, that the apparent seems veritable. Sach 
are the Ysdantins' three sorts of existence, the true, the practical, and 
the apparent. 

*** The doctrine of the Vedanta is sammarized in this half couplet: 
*' Brahma is true ; the world is false ; the soul is Brahma himself and 
nothing other.'* And explained and expanded by the advocates of the 
YSdinta, the meaning of these words is as follows.*' Br&hma alone—- 
a spirit ; essentially existent, intelligence and joy ; void of all qualitiesy 
and of all acts ; in whom there is no consciousness such as is denoted by 
"I," " thou," and " it ;" who apprehends no person, or thing, nor is 
apprehended of any ; who is neither parviscient nor omniscient ; neither 
parvipotent nor omnipotent ; who has neither beginning nor end ; im* 
mutable and indefectible — the true entity. All berides himself, the 
entire universe, is false, that is to say, is nothing whatever. Neither 
has' it ever existed, nor does it now exist, nor will it exist at any time 
future. And the soul is one with Brahma." 

As regards the first article of the Ysdanta creed, ** Brahma is trae,** 
the Christian Pandit very truly observes, that, by the interpretation the 
Vedintins give of it, Brahma is made an inconceiveable being ; for in 
denying all qualities to Brahma, they render him such that it is impossi* 
ble to prove even his existence. ** When they," he says, " hear us 
ascribe to the Supreme Spirit intelligence, will, power, and other attri- 
butes, and speak of him as Maker of the world, they silently deride as, 
in the conviction, that we are lamentably ignorant : for our views, to 
their thinking, impute imperfection to Him, in giving Him qualities ; 
and they suppose, that we, at the best and furthest, stop short at Isvara; 
and make no approach to the pure Brahma beyond. But they do not 

* livars they regard as the practical deity, at will be seen in the seqael. 


cbnsMer, tbai such a saprem^ Spirit as tbej contend for cannot be prov* 
ed to exist. From the world, an effect, it may be inferred, that it had 
an efficient cause : hence Ood, its Maker. But by what argument can 
one establish the existence of a being transcending Dim, a being not a 
maker ? Moreover, I would ask the Y^dantin what sort of imperfection 
we charge on the Supreme Spirit, in ascribing to Him such ittributes 
as omnipotence and omniscience ? And, if Brahma be void of all qua* 
KtieS) on what ground is he supposed to be ulterior to the Creator ? 
For a being without qualities^ if conceivable, cannot be deemed either 
exeelient or otherwise. But waiving this, it is certain, as was said, 
that Brahma without qualities cannot be proved an entity. Precep- 
^n tells us nothing of him ; and inference teaches us no more ; since 
he has no relation with any thing. For, agreeably to the Vid&ntins* de»' 
flnition, Brahma b related to nothing, either as a cause, or in any other 

Again, as regards the second article of faith in the V&l&nta creed, viz., 
** The world is false,** i. e., the world is not really existent, Nilakantha 
Sastri remarks : ** Here we may ask, < How is it, that, if the external 
world is false or nothing, it presents itself as existing and real ?' The 
answer which the VSdSLntins give to this is, that it is all due to the 
power of ignorance. They assert, that the external world originates 
from ignorance ; in other words, it is all actually Brahma, but, by reason 
of ignorance, appears to us as the world. Just so, a rope lying in cer- 
tain circumstances may be mistaken, by a man, for a snake ; he calls it a 
snake, it not being so, however, but a rope : and so one may speak of 
the snake and the rope as being one. And yet it is not meant, that the 
rope has actually undergone a change, or has turned into a snake : it is 
a snake merely in semblance. As the rope is to the snake, so is Brahma' 
to the world. When, therefore, the Ysdantins declare, that the world is 
Brahma, their meaning is not, that Brahma is actually transformed into 
the world, but that, in point of fact, the world is no entity ; only Brahma 
presents himself as if the world. To use their technical phraseology^ 
the worldV existence is not its own, but Brahma's. Hence they designate 
Brahma as the illusory^material cause of the world." 

^' The inconsistency and fatuity of the YSdinta on the point under 
discussion are most bewildering to the reader. In the first place 
he will enquire, what is the nature of illusion, also called ignorance. 
If, he will say, it is that by reason of which the unreal world presents^ 
itself as real,*--«fter the manner of nacre appearing to be silver,-*it 
must be misconception : and how can this be the world's material 
Cause ? And if it be a material cause, and if the world was made 
oiit of it, as a jar is made of clay, why are tlie name and fortn of the 
world to be false ? I reply, that the difficulty thus expressed is in- 
capable of solution. The Ysd&ntins are herein most inconsistent. In" 
some respects their ^ ignorance*^ looks like misconception ; and still 
they will not name it so, but the cause of misconception, nay, of the 
whole world: for they describe it as being a complex of the three gunas 

MB m NPJJ PKfilOSOHlBJM 4im 9KtMafiJPW& 

(qni^iei) and ih« worlds matorliU eaiOfe. Fttrlhenooi^ ihey dfiiOiwi>^ 
nate it the |>o^er of Isvara.* ' ^ 

. '< With reference to the bouI, the VM&Qtiiis hold that, tb^ugli It is- 
BrahmA, yet, being subject to illusiony or igooraneey fit ha$ forgotten ito> 
true nature, and looking upon the internal organ and t)ie body ts^ real,: 
and identifying itself with them, oonaiders itself to be ouoi, or the like* 
And, although aU things in viciasitudinofis life aro false, from ignoraaoe^ 
the soul thinks them true, and calls some of them minc^ ete., imd imagiofi$; 
that some things make it happy, and that others render it misentbk* X| 
l^ng thus, there arise, in the soul, desire and aversion, in oonaeqnenoS) 
of which it engages in good works and in bad. Aftarwards^ to recei?^ 
the ifequital of those works, it has to pass to £lyrium, or to hell, and W 
take birth repeatedly* AU these experiences and mutations arov to be' 
sure, fake : but neverthdess, they seem to it as true ; and hence, is: 1^ 
its wretchedness. But when the soul, bound by illusion, becomes con*^ 
winded' that the world id iaiUe, and that itself is Brahma^ existent^ satelli- 

* It is stated* that some V^antins formerly maintained Brahma to be tht 
material cause •£ the world. But, from the time of Sankara AcharySi the, 
4omiaant school of the Vedanta has held, that Brahma is the world 'a illusoTjfm. 
material cause. Thos it it written in the Vedanta-paribhasha i ** Let it not 
he said, that, if, of two heterogeneoas things, one may be a material eaase^ 
and the other a material effect, then Brahma himself may be the material 
cause of the world. For Brahma is admitted a$ the material cause of the world 
[onljif] in the sense of his being the substrate of the world, L e. ^/. the object 
misapprehended z since that material cautativity which consists in evolving 
U impossible in Brahma ; he being without parts. Thus, then, the establish-, 
ed doctrine is, that the evolutional material cause of the world is illusion^ 
not Brahma." 

Sankara Acharya often interprets literally those passages of the UpanishacU 
(the source of the VSdanta faith)r which seem to speak of Brahma as tha 
world's evolutional material cause.; hut be prefers to understand them at 
setting forth the view which since his time has generally, if not umversaUy» 
been adopted by VSdautins. Sankara's opinion may be learned from the 
following passage of his Commentary on the Aitareya-upanishad : " A car- 
penter, or a similar artificer, possessed of materialf constructs a house, or the 
like. This is all right, or intelligible* . But how can the spirit, which it 
without material, create the world/ This i« no %al%d objection. Like the 
foam^ a thing developed, but ei^sting pofesUitUlff in water, the universe can 
ei^et in its material cause, known as pure spirit, form lets, and undeveloped* 
Therefore it is not ineongruous to thinks that the omniscient, himself the ma* 
(enal cause ol namea and forma, should create the universe. Otherwiae, aa4 
preferably x as a dexterous juggler ^witheut aiaterial prockucea himself as i^ 
w#re an<^ther self travelling in the air, to the A>niniscient Devig or Isvarty 
being omnipotent and great in iUueion, createp himself as it were another m^ 
ia the form ef the univerte." 

gfemdy iuid ysy; U Oieapes bom fortbQP ticksitudf \ and realizes: Brabraa^ 
hood. Yel, e(fm afler the acqaisitioo oC tm* knowledge, the soul bus tp 
tenMit Um body,, till it exhaust^ the cm^ri^noe of its frocteacent works i 
mad ao long it oannot evade happinesa and miaer j* By death only the 
aoal realizes full Brfthmahood^ tbat is to saji it ceasee to exiat individur 
Mjy it ia abaorbed into Brabmai the oniversal spirit. 

*' The acconnts of lararay found in the Pur&nas and other IhhAlb, as 
that he aswvpoed the forms of Vishniiy Siya, ete*, and achieved various 
l^tiotis, aire vm^p^^tj^d hj the Vsdl^ntins; a^d t)iey think it also proper to 
go through the sacrifices and other ceremonies enjoyed, in the Ved«. They 
jteqlfure bowef er, that^ if a man estranges himself from the worlds and 
^ves hisMelj^ wholly to Sfuritual studies and exercises, and becomes an 
nscetic, he must desist from all litualism. Still they do not impugn the 
peremonial pork^m ^ the Vsdaaa Solly i nor is it deemed improper for 
iMnem to engage in mental devotion addresped to Sivm Vishntl.and other 
first dass deities^ forms of Isvara i £qr they regard such exercises as prer 
paratory^ to the stUunment of right ^prehension. Whoever, therefc^re^ 
lieariiKg that the yedl^ltins believe in Brahma without qnalitfies^ infers 
iluU they r^ect yishnu, Siva, and the rest of the pantheon, di^coaater 
nance idolatry and cgunt Uie Purl^nas and simimal writings falser 
labours under gross error. ^ Regarded from ^ tbe standing point of prao- 
iicid existence^ these are all real and ftuthoritgtive ; Whereas fjHom th0 
9tandiQg point of true existence, all things, including even the lJpaAishadii» 
the source of the V^a,n>ta faith, are lookad upoi^ ap IMsor : Such a#e 
Uie l^uLiag dogmas of the Vedanta," 

2. Rdman^i^ Atkdrya and t\» VimhAddmi^ Sfittm, 

. Bamanuja Aobaryai the founder of the yiushthlLdvaita systeim was 
ihe chief propagator and reformer of the Yaishqava jreligion in 
Southern India^ and t|ie following, taken, from Prpf. l{< H. Wilson's 
1S^ Sects, of the Hindus,, is an outline of his life^ ** Bamanuja wais 
according to the Bhargava, an tjpapurai^a, an incarnation of the 
acrp^ 'SSsha ; whilst his ch^ef companions and disciples were the 
embo^ed t>icua, Majce, Lotus, and other insignia of Visbnu. lo a 
Canara account of his life, called the Divya Char^tra (diving histoiy), 

r . • . - ; ■ . ■ • ■ • . . .^- 

: ^. S40kara. Aicharya, in his eenUoversy with the Bkagsvatss, a Vais^na^a 
m^Xp aayst ''That th« suprtme Spirit, Mie with all, has »f hi^isttf exhibited 
liiptf ell in yarioQi . fat mi, it not eoatroverted* For, from * H« beeomeft 
^1^ he baeones twofold,'' and other serif tarti^ the maaifoldi^esg of uan^^^ 
taUm lof .the svpseaae Spirit i* gaibered. . Koreo*ref, the yeligioii»' ierrie^, 
fptaseeiated incesaaotly, aad with endifttraeted atletfUMi, of tbat adorable one, 
oonaifting in pioaa retort, ete; whieh is hievtcsted hy you^ is not objected to \ 
bjf lleasoa,. aris.well known, ^w\ A^e U ^umii$n of det^Hdn te Israra ii 
the Veda and the Smritis. ' ^ 

^~ - -^ 

^ ^ f '•'" ., - - , ^ - r- r - - ' r • - ■ _ ' ■ . . t : . 


he is said to have been the son of Sri KssaTa Ach&rja aad ^flmf Devi \ 
and, as before, an incarnation of SSsha. He was bom at Peruoabfbr 
(i. e. Sripermatttlr, between Madras and Conjeveram), and studied at 
Kanchi or Conjeveram, where also he taoght his system of the V»sha* 
nava faith. He afterwards resided at Sri-Kanga, worshipping Yishnu as 
Sri-Ranga*Natha, and there composed his principal works: he then visit* 
ed various parts of India, disputing with the professors of different creeds, 
overcoming them of course, and reclaiming various shrines, then ia 
possession of the Saivas, for the worship of Yishnu,, particularly the 
celebrated temple of Tripetti. 

On his return to Sri-Ranga, the disputes between the Yaishnava and 
Saiva religions, became exceedingly violent, and the Cb5la monarch, who^ 
according to some accounts was at that time Kerikala Chola jBubsequently 
named Krimi Konda Ch5la, being a devout worshipper of Siva, com* 
manded all the Brahmans in his dominons to sign an acknowledgment of 
the supremacy of that divinity, bribing some of the most refractory, and 
terrifying others into acquiescence. RS.manuja, however, was impracti- 
cable, and the king sent armed men to seize him. With the assistance 
t>f his disciples, he effected his escape, aod ascending the Ghats, found 
refuge with the Jaina sovereign of Mysore, Yitala DSva, or Yelala 
B&yiu In consequence of rendering medical service to the daughter of 
this prince, or in the terms of the legend, expelling an evil spirit, a 
Brahma Bakshasa, by whom she was possessed, he obtained the mcmarch's 
gracious regard, and finally converted him to the Yaishnava faith ; 
whereupon the Raja assumed the title of Yishnu Yarddhana. Ram&nuja 
remained several years in Mysore, at a temple founded by the Raja on 
Tadava Giri^ now known as Mail Cotay , for the reception of any image 
called Chavala Raya, a form of Ranacbhor, or Krishna, whiph the local 
traditions very rediculously pretend he obtained from the Mahomedan 
sovereign of Delhi. Ramanuja resided twelve years in Mysore, but on 
the death of his persecutor, the Chola king, he returned to Sri-Banga, 
on the K&vSri, and there spent the remainder of his life in devout exer- 
cises and religious seclusion." 

Regarding the doctrine of R&m§.nuja, we gather from Prof. H. H. 
Wilson's Hindu Sects the following information : The chief dogma of 
RfLm&nuja and his followers, is the assertion, that Vishnu is Brahma 
or the Supreme Spirit ; that he was before all worlds ; that he was the 
^ause and the creator of all ; and that he is one with the universe. But 
although they maintain tliat Yishnu and the universe are one,, yet, in 
opposition to the Ysdanta doctrine, they deny that the deity is void of 
form or quality, and regard him as endowed with all good qualities, and* 
with a two-fold form : a subtle, which is the supreme spirit, named* 
ParamdrimAf or this cause; and a gross one, ihe effect^ which is the universe 
or matter. The doctrine is hence called the VinsJtthddvaita^ or tlie 
doctrine of unity with attributes; and it is held by most of the Yatsh* 
nava sects. 

Creation originated, according to Ramanuja, in the wish of Yishnu, who 


was alone, without a Becond, to multiply himself: he said, I will become 
many ; and he was individually embodied as visible and etherial light. 
After that, as a ball of clay may be moulded inta various forms, so the 
grosser substance of the deity became manifest in the elements, and their 
combinations : thus, the forms into which the divine matter is divided 
are pervaded by a portion of the same vitality which belongs to the great 
cause of all, but which is distinct from his spiritual or etherial essence ; 
and this vitality, though endlessly diffusible, is imperishable and eternal, 
and the matter of the universe, as being the same in substance with the 
Supreme Being, is alike without beginning or end. PurushotCama, or 
Ndrdyamiy after having created man and animals, through the instru- 
mentality of those subordinate agents whom he willed into existence for 
that purpose, still retained his supreme authority over the universe, with 
which he is, in fact, one. 

Besides his primary and his secondary form as the creator and the uni- 
verse, the deity is said to have assumed, at different times, particular forms 
and appearances, for the benefit of his creatures. He was visibly present 
amongst men in his different Avataras or incarnations ; he is always 
present in the objects of worship, the images ; and he is to be adored in 
a five-fold manner, viz., by 1. Abhigamanam, i. e. cleaning and purifying 
the temples, images, etc ; 2. Updddnam^ i. e. providing fiowers and 
other things for religious rites ; 3. Ijya, i. e. the preseptation of offer- 
ings ; 4. Svadhydguy i. e. counting the rosary and repeating the names 
of the divinity ; 5. Yoga, i. e. the effort to unite with the deity by ab- 
stract meditation, etc. These five kinds of worship are to be performed 
seriatim, and by doing so the worshipper is finally elevated to the seat 
of Vishnu in Vaikuntha. 

3. The Doctrine of Mddhvdchdrya or the Dvaita System. 

The essential dogmas of the doctrine of Madhvach9,rya, who was bom 
in Tolnva (South-Canara) in the year 1 199 A. t>., and was, according 
to the legendary belief of his followers, an incarnation of Vayu, the god 
of air, are, according to Prof. Wilson*d Hindu Sects, as follows: Vishnu 
is the Supreme Spirit and the pre-existent cause of the universe, which 
is made of his substance. The primeval Vishnu is endowed with real 
attributes, most excellent, although indefinable ; and he is independent^ 
while the world is dependent on him. Life has one source; but the 
Jivatma, i. e. the life of the creature, is dependent on the ParamS,tma, 
i. e. the supreme spirit, and though both are indissolubly connected with 
each other, they are not the same ; hence the doctrine is called Dvaita, 
i. e. duality. 

Vishnu, the supreme spirit^ resides in Vaikuntha, invested with in- 
efiable splendour, and he is the husband of Lakshmi (glory), Bhtimi (the 
eatth), and Nila (understood to mean Dsvi or personified matter). In 
his primeiry form, no qualities can be predicted of him ; but when he 
pleases to associate with Maya, which is, properly speaking, his desire i 



the three attributes of purity, passion, and ignorance, or the Saiva, 
Raja, and Tama Gtmas, are manifested as Vishnu, Brahma, and Siva, 
for the creation, protection and destruction of the world. These deities, 
again, perform their respective functions through their union with the 
same delusive principle to which they owed their individual mani- 

While the followers of Midhvftchirya observe, on the whole, the samd 
rites with other Vaishnavas, they have this peculiarity that they place 
the images of Siva and his consort as well as that of Ganfea in the same 
shrine with the forms of Vishnu, and pay to them adoration, as they do 
to his idols.' Rites are regarded to be conducive to final happiness only 
so far as they indicate a desire to secure the favor of Vishnu. The 
knowledge of his supremacy is essential to the 2cal with which his ap- 
probation is to be sought, but they consider it unnecessary to attempt an 
identification with him by abstract meditation, as being unattainable. 
Those who have acquired the regard of Vishnu are, thereby, exempted 
from future birth, and enjoy felicity in Vaikuntha, in close community 
^ith the deity, into whom they are not absorbed, but from whom they 
remain different eternally. This doctrine is a great improvement, indeed, 
lK)th on the Advaita, and the Visishth&dvaita.f 

4. Remarks about Buddhism and Jainism. 

The founder of Buddhism, caUed Buddha, and Gautama, andSakyamuni, 
lived about 500 years before the birth of Christ- He was the son of a kmg 
of Magadha (the modem Behar), and is said to have lived, for some time, 
a life of secular pursuits and pleasures, till he was struck with the vanity 
of man and all earthly things ; whereupon he renounced his prospects and 
became an ascetic. After some time he was joined by others who be- 
came his disciples and propagated hb tenets ; the most prominent of which 

» Madhvicharya, having first beta a Saiva, attempted thus to form a kmd 
of alliance between the two secte of the Saivae and the Vaishnavat. 

+ There are other Vaiehnava sects, found all over India, but we mention here 
«ay one more via., the Vallahhacharis. i. e. the followers of the Telura Brah- 
man VaUahha Aeharya, who lived in the sixteenth century, aud esUhlished 
the worship of Bala Oopila, the infant Krishna, associated with his mistreas 
Radha. This sect is now very widely diffused amongst all ranks of Indian 
society, but chiefly among the rich, and more especially among the merchants 
ttud bankers of Gnaerat and Malwa. 

- Amongst other articles of the new creed/' says Mr. Wilson, " Vallabha 
introduced one, which is rather singular for a Hindu religious iunovator or 
reformer : he taught, thW privation forms no part of sanctity, and that it is 
the duty of the teacher and of his disciples to worship the deity, not m^ 
uadity and hunger, hut wearing costly apparel and toking choice food ; not 
itt solitude and mortification, but in the pleasures of society and the enjoy- 
meat of the world." 


«re : 1» Tbere i« oo Qrentor nod SupFeme ftuler of tbe universe : the 
world is eternul 2, The four V^daa ure not i^utboritative in miittera 
pertaining to religion. 3, Pre-eminent Saints are to be vorgbipp^ lia 
gods. 4, No animal life whatever is to be destrojed. 6, Tb^ institute! 
of oastea is to be aboli»bed. This godless svsteni^ recommending itself 
to the masses bj its sentimental morality, and its doing away with caste-t 
distinotions, spread rupidly over the whole Peninsula and Ceylon* In the 
beginning it was tolerated even by the Hrabmans ; but wben they saw 
Uiat their supremacy was endangered, they persecuted the Buddhists unto 
death. The first general persecution broke out in the sixth century of 
the Chriatian aera ; then tbey were, for a time, supplanted by the Jainas^ 
but by the end of the twelfth century, Brabmanism was again domineer- 
ing almost over the whole peninsula. The Buddhists, however, retained 
hold g( Ceylon, and their system spread rapidly over Tibet, the Sastern 
Peninsula, China, and Japan, so that it numbers now no less than 
300,000,000 i^hereuts, i. e. nearly one-third of the population of th^ 

As regards Jainism, it is nothing but an off-shoot of Buddhism, with 
which it has all leading doctrines in common, but is distinguished from 
it by its political leaning towards Brabmanism ; inasmuch as it recog« 
nizes the orthodox Pantheon and the institution of castes. The follow* 
lag are some of Professor Wilson's remarks about it : ** Jainism wa« 
introduced on the Coromandol side of the Peninsula upon the downfall 
of the Buddhas, in the reign of Amoghavarsha, king of Tondaimandalam» 
in the ninth or tenth century : Further south, in Madura, the di^te of 
its introduction is not known ; but the Jainas were itx power in the 
eleventh century under Ktina P$.ndiyan. In this and in the twelfth cen-* 
tory they seem to have reached their highest prosperity, and since that 
period they have declined. Ktina P§.ndiyan became a Saiva, and Vishnu 
Varddhana, the Rajah of Mysore, was converted from the Jaina to the 
Vaishnava faith by Ramanuja in the twelfth century. The total disap- 
pearance of the Buddhas in India proper is connected with the influence 
of the Jainas, for whose enmity towards the former the inveterate hatred 
prevalent among kindred schisms is a sufficient reason.* 

*' Hie generic names of the Jaina saints (of whom the^ enumerate 
twenty-four of the past, twenty-four of the present, and twenty-four of 
the age to come ; and of whom they have made statues of marble or 
granite, of which some are no less than 60 and 60 feet high) express the 
ideas entertained of their character by their votaries. A saint is called 
JagatprabhUf lord of the world ; Sarvajna^ omniscient ; Adhisvara^ 
supreme lord ; Devadideva, god of gods ; Jina, or Jaina, which means 
victor over all human passions and Infirmities ; etc. 

'* The last and greatest of the Jaina saints is Mahavira, and the follow- 
ing is the introductory lecture ascribed to him by his biographer — : 

* There is atill a considerable number of Jainas scattered over the Penin- 
*ttla, and also in Madras reside several families. 


** The world is withoot bounds like a formidable ocean ; its cause is 
action (Karma), which is as the seed of the tree. The being called Jiva 
(life) invested with a bodj^ but devoid of judgment, goes, like a weU-^in- 
ker, ever downwards, by the acts it performs, whilst the embodied being 
which has attained purity, goes ever upwards, by its own acts, like the 
builder of a palace. Let no one injure life, whilst bound in the bonds of 
action, but be as assiduous in cherishing the life of another (be it man 
or animal or the smallest insect) as his own. Never let any one speak 
falsehood, but always speak the truth. Let every one who has a bodily 
form avoid giving pain to others as much as to himself. Let no one take 
property not given to him, for wealth is like the external life of men, 
and he who takes away such wealth commits as it were murder. Asso- 
ciate not with women, for it is the destruction of life : let the wise ob- 
serve continence, which binds them to the supreme spirit. Be not 
incumbered with a family, for by the anxiety it involves, a person falls 
Hke an ox too heavily laden. If it be not in thy power to shun these 
more subtle destroyers of life, avoid at least the commissicm of all gross 

^' An eternal and presiding first cause," says Mr. Wilson, '< forms no part 
of the Jaina creed, nor do the Jainas admit of soul or spirit as distinct 
from the living principle. All existence is divisible into two heads : 
U/e (Jiva), or the living and sentient principle ; and Inertia (A jiva), 
or the various modifications of inanimate matter. Both these are un- 
created and imperishable. Their forms and conditions may change, 
but they are never destroyed ; and with the exception of the unusual 
cases in which a peculiar living principle ceases to be subject to 
bodily acts, both life and matter proceed in a certain course, and, at 
stated periods, the same forms, the same characters, and the same events, 
are repeated."* 

* In the Rev. H. Bower's Introduction to the Chintamani, a Tamil epic poem, by a 
Jaina, farther and very valuable information concerning Jainism is to be found. Mr. 
Bower gives his own opinion about it, and inserts also an outline of Jainism from th^ 
pen of a learned Madras Jaina. 



The Doctrine of the Transmigration of the Soul 

(Extracted from *' A Rational Refutation of the Hindu Philosophical 

Systems by Nebemiab NiUkantha S&stri Gore. Translated into 

English by Fitz. Edward Hall, d. c. l., Oxon.") 

The doctrine of the transmigration of the sool is held by all Hindu 
philosophers to whatever school they may belong, and practically it is 
the most important dogma in every system of Hindu philosophy ; for the 
end of all Hindu philosophy is, to attain to right apprehension, which is 
regarded as the only means to be released from the misery of transmigra* 
tion, of which ignorance is believed to be the cause. Through ignorance, 
the soul, which has existed from everlasting, and is distinct from the 
mind, the senses, and the body, identifies itself with them. From this 
identification it is that it conceives of some things as its own, and of 
other things as belonging to others ; and through the body it re* 
ceives pleasure from this object, and pain from that. Hence there arises 
in it desire for what affords pleasure, and aversion from what produces 
pain. And, by reason of desire and aversion, it engages in various good 
and evil works, from which accrue to it demerit and merit. Then, to 
receive requital, it has to pass to Elysium, or to Hell, and repeatedly to 
be bom and to die.* But even the happiness that is enjoyed in Elysium 
is not desirable ; for when the merit of good works is exhausted, then 
the soul must again assume a body, and again be subject to birth and 
death. The wise, therefore, aim only at emancipation, which is attain* 
able by right apprehension, solely. And to gain right apprehension, one 
mast study the Sastras, i. e. the philosophical systems ; for which study, 
clearness of intellect and heart is indispensable ; and this, again, cannot be 
attained except by a preparatory practice of good works, such as sacri- 
fice, alms, pilgrimages, repetition of sacred words, austerities, and the like. 
Moreover, all these works are to be performed without desire of Elysium 

* A Jaina philosopher says : •• All living beings will enjoy the fruits of their 
|^>od or evil actions • by preponderance of evil, souls enter hell, and by preponder- 
ance of good, they enter the world of the gods ; but when good and evil are equally 
balanced, they are bom as human beings ; when evil alone exists, they are bom as 
irrational animals ; and when both good and evil ure destroyed^ then they are libe- 
rated.'* See Mr. Bower's Introduction to the Chintfimani ; p. iiy. 


and lower rewards ; for otherwise the performer does not attain to the 
clearness just spoken of. The man of right apprehension alone is absolv- 
ed from the recurrence of birth. By death he is divested not only 
of bis body, but likewise also of his mind, and of cognition, and of hia 
sense of all things, and becomes insensible like a stone, as it is said: *' In 
coercion of thought, in profound sleepi and in emancipation, oneness 
with Brahma is realised.*' From this it is clear that the Hindu Philoso- 
pher expects after all only immunity from misery .an<l not positive 

But as regards the doctrine of metempsychosis, the strongest argument 
brought forward by the Pandits in its favour is as follows : ^ Unksa,'' 
say they, " metempsychosis is assumed, partiality and cruelty most at- 
tach to God. Partiality consists in not looking upon all alike ; in treat- 
ing some with more favour, and others with less ; in giving some a high 
ranky and others a lower. Cruelty is, to give pain where no fanlt has 
been committed. Now, we see, that, in this worlds 9ome enjoy a high. 
rank and great power, and others are wretched, and afflicted with pover- 
ty : and what is the reason, that God has ordered it thus ? Again, almoat 
all men suffer misery and misfortune ; and what is the cause of tbi^ ? 
It is not enough to say, it is the sin that has been done in the eurrent 
state of existence; for it is a matter of experience^ that many a grievoua 
offender has great power and pleasure, and that many a man whose con-. 
duct is observably meritorious is oppressed with poverty and pain, Axi^ 
what can you say with respect to infants and beasts ? Consciously they 
have never committed sin ; and yet they suffer greatly^ Hence, ^ve 
maintain the doctrine of the transmigration of the soul, and so remove 
1^1 these difficulties. We can, therefore, say, when we see a bad vmlxl 
powerful and in comfort, that he must have been eminently virtuous ixt 
a former state of existenoe, »nd is now reaping the reward of his virtue^ 
Similarly, when we see a good man suffer more than ordinary afflictioja, 
we are able to affirm, that» in a former state of existence, be was eoai- 
pently sinful, and is now receiving retribution for bis sin. And, in like 
manner, infants and beasts undergo punishment for the offences of which, 
in a prior birth, they were guilty." 

This argument is, in the estimation of the Pundits, unanswerable, t^xi^ 
any system of religion which does not acknowledge the transmigration o^ 
the soul, they consider to be almost self^evidently false in its very firsjt 
principles. And it must be acknowledged that the doctrine of meteno* 
psychosis, when supported by the above argument^ is rather plausible^ 
so that it is not quite easy to prove its untenableness to the mind of the 
Hindu^ in which it is all but ineradioably rooted. It is therefore woptli 
while to observe how the Christian Pandit Nilakantba answers and re^ 
fates the arguments of the heathen Pandits in ita favour. 

He replies as follows : ''If you mean by partiality that Go4 
has not bestowed upon all men equality of rank and hapjMiness, your 
objection has no weight with me; since 1 hold* that it was to ah^w 


forth Ris all-eaAcient attributes, that God framed the world ; and that 
he creates souls irrespectively of works ; and that he makes them diverse, 
as exhibiting the manifoldness of his creation. For instance, there are 
seals of one kind, in the form of angels, who surpass man in rank, majestj, 
wisdom, power, and other particulars. Inf^Hor to them is man ; and 
again, below him are other creatures, such as beasts* Again, there are 
distinct orders of angels ; and of mankind also the ranks are numerous. 
AH alike are the creation of God's free will ; and, if He has given a high 
place to one, and a humble place to another, has any one a claim on Him? 
If we, who were once nothing, have,on receiving existence, been given any 
thing whatever, it is from God's mere mercy. And can this mercy become 
injustice from his giving another more than he gives me? If any one 
gives a poor man ten rupees, the man thinks himself greatly indebted to 
the giver. But, if the donor gives a hundred rupees to another poor 
man, does his favour towards the first cease to be a favour ? Does he 
prove himself unjust ^ I am aware, that, our nature having become 
corrupted by sin, almost any man, if he sees that others are favoured 
beyond himself, takes it ill, and is jealous and unhappy. But this un« 
happiness arises from the fact that his nature is corrupt ; and there is no 
right ground for it. There is no injustice then, in giving less to one, 
and more to another. If, indeed, all had a claim to receive equally, there 
would be injustice. No one, however, has any claim upon God. 

'* But now you may say, " Though there is no injustioe in bestowing 
mean rank or small power on one, and high rank or great power on 
another^ yet is there not injustice in causing pain gratuitously ? And 
how many great sinners are happy, and how many good men are misera- 
ble ! As for infants and beasts, who have never sinned, do not they 
too suffer much affliction ? Pray, how are these things to be accounted 
fbr ?" I reply : Without doubt the fruit of sin is misery ; and, as all 
men ard sinners, it is meet, that, being so, they should be miserable. 
There are some men whom we ci^l good ; but tn the sight of God, they 
are all guilty : for Ood and man behold things under different aspects* 
From sin, the discernment of man has become blunted ; and the heinous- 
ness of sin is not altogether clear to him. (Some men are called good, 
ttimply because they are better than most others* And yet there is not, 
in all the ivorld, even one man whose heart and nature 9re undefiled bjr 
Bin. Those, therefore, whom we call good are, before a most holy God, 
guilty, and deserving of punishment* 

** Moreover, mark, that this world is not man*s place of judgment Full 
judgment will not be till after death ; and not till then will each receive 
exact and complete requital for his deeds. The present worid, like a 
school, is a place where man is disciplined ; and the happiness or misery 
which we here experience is not always requital, nor, when so, proportion- 
^ to our actions. In most cases, God sends happiness and misery to 
men, as being calculated fbr their good ; but, for us, it is impossible to 
decide what is for any one's good, or ^ reverse* For none of us caa 


know another's heart and nature, and his history, past, present, andfature, 
and the eventual result of his happiness or misery. Should we, then, 
pronounce all misery in this world to be evil, we should err greatly. We 
ought, rather, to consider misery to be sent to us, in this world, by God, 
in mercy, for our warning, that we may turn to Him, and so escape future 
punishment. Therefore, to entertain doubt as to God's justice, because 
of the distress of this world is most rash. If a man who has been blind- 
ly walking in the path of sin, has his heart opened by some great calami- 
ty, and takes warning, repents, and turns to God, must he not look upon 
that calamity as a great blessing from God ; and will he not praise God 
for it all his life long ? 

''And do not suppose, that men of proper life and of amiable disposition 
have no need of the discipline which is furnished by misery. They too 
commit many an error, and have many a defect. And often it so occurs, 
that he who is a chosen servant of God is especially visited with afflic- 
tion, not for punishment, but to the end, that be may be tried, like gold, 
in the crucible of misery, and thereby be purified. What folly then, to 
let the idea of evil be suggested, whenever one hears the name of misery, 
and, with one's feeble intellect, to decide as to its hidden causes I 

'* A former state of existence is often inferred from the fact that some 
persons are born blind, and others are born lame ; and it is asked : 
'* Why has God made a number of men thus* while he has made many 
with a whole body ? is there not partiality in this ?" — But what are we, to 
attempt to find out the secret counsel of God ! Can we know the heart, 
and nature, and all the internal and external condition of another ? Who 
can say what good may accrue to the immortal souls of the lame and 
blind from their few days of misery ? It is very true, that, though God, 
in his great mercy, sends us various remedial miseries for the eternal 
benefit of our souls, still, so infatuated are we with sin, that most of us 
refuse to take warning from our misa*y, and to repent of our sins, and to 
turn to God. The fault is our own, however. As for God's dealing, 
it is mercy. Is it not written even in one of the books of the Hindus 
(the Bhagavata-purana), " From him whom. I would favour, by little and 
little do I take away the riches ?" 

*' It remains for me to speak of the misery of infants and beasts. And 
here, entering upon a strictly logical argument, I would ask the Hindu: 
Js it certain, that suffering can have no just cause but offences ? When 
a man commits a great state-crime, the king has him executed, and con- 
fiscates his pr(4>erty. As a consequence, and even though they may 
have taken no part in the crime, his children and household are ia<* 
volved in extreme distress. But does any one, for this, call the king 
unjust ? Or take this case* The king's subjects are in every way 
loyal, and their sovereign is perfectly satisfied with them. But an 
enemy comes to attack him. He orders his people to give their aid ; and 
thousands of them suffer greatly, or are slain, and that, although they 
have not offended against their lord^ but, on the contrary, have always 


obeyed him. Now, tell me, whether the king did any iDJastice in send« 
ing them to war. Understand, mj design, in adducing these illustra- 
tions, is simply to refute the notion that, when misery befals any one, it 
must always be referred to his offences against the author of his suffer- 
ing ; and that it admits of no other explanation. I have now shewn the 
baselessness of this your maxim. The inference of a former state of 
existence, in the case of children, from observing that they experience 
suffering, can have no ground but this maxim ; and, as this maxim is 
shewn to be false, the inference built upon it is so likewise. 

" As concerns the fearful punishment which every evil*doer must suffer 
in the world to come, that maxim is, indeed, correct, but there is no 
satisfactory and convincing proof of it with reference to the frivolous 
distresses we suffer in this transitory life. Be assured, also, that the 
sufferings of infants and beasts, though to the looker*on they seem terri- 
ble, are very trivial in comparison with those of a person of full consci- 
ousness : for we know, with certainty, that, the less the consciousness, 
the less the pain. In fact, very likely a father and mother, when they 
see their infant in pain, suffer more than the infant itself. As for its 
pain, though we may see no fruit coming from it now, still you may be 
sure, that God sent it for some most good and salutary end; such an end, 
that, when it becomes known to us, we shall confess, that the misery from 
the pain is of no account whatever, as weighed against the consequent 

*' Again, we learn, from the true Word of God, that the chief and pri- 
mary cause of the entrance of pain into this world was sin ; and that ail 
misery has immediate or mediate connexion with man's bad deeds, or 
with his corrupted evil nature, which is the seed of ilUdoing. Neverthe- 
less, I affirm, that so deep and so far transcending our understanding are 
the ways of Almighty God, and in such a manner does He, in His inscru- 
table wisdom, educe various results from every single thing He does, that, 
assuredly, we cannot say, when a soul receives pain in this world, that 
such pun can have no just cause but in the sin the soul has committed. 
Many and many a just cause may it have, of which our feeble understand- 
ing can know nothing, f 

* ** For I reckon that the Bufferings of this present time are not worthy to 
be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest 
expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 
For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of 
him who subjected the same in hope ; because the creature itself also shall be 
delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the 
children of God." Rom. viii. 18 — 21. See also II. Cor. iv. 17, 18. 

f " O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God ! 
How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out ! For 
who has known the mind of the Lord ? or who has been his counsellor P Or 
who has first given to him, that it shall be recompensed unto him again P For 
of him, and through him, and to him, are all things : to whom be glory for 
ever I Amen." Rom. xi. d3*-d6. 



^' How hasty ia it, therefore, for us, when we contemplate the snfferings 
of beasts, or of children, or of any other creature, to conclude forthwith, 
that thej had a former birth, and that thej were then guilty of sin. To 
establish such a strange doctrine, satisfactory and convincing evidence 
is necessary. It is manifest that metempsychosis is most improbable. 
Hindus, because they have constantly heard of it from their childhood, 
look upon it as not improbable. Stil), in reality, it is exceedingly im- 
probable ; and it does not deserve instant credit, that we have been in 
existence, times innumerable, and from duration without beginning, as 
gods, men, elephants, horses, dogs, cats, monkeys, mice, scorpions, and 
centipedes. What scenes we must have passed through, of which we have 
not, now, even the faintest remembrance ! If it be replied, that as we 
who are grown up have forgotten many circumstances of our childhood 
and adolescence, so we have forgotten the circumstances of our former 
births, I would ask, whether, in those so many births, we were always 
like children. Moreover, though we forget many things that passed in 
our adolescence, there are thousands of other things, belonging to that 
stage of life, which remain in our memories all our lives long. Should it 
be replied, that it is not altogether inconceivable that at the time of each 
new birth, we must forget the transactions of the former birth, I asseni 
But there are many things that are not altogether impossible, which, yet, 
we are unable at once to believe. Is it wholly impossible, that wings 
should sprout out of an elephant, and that he should soar up into the 
clouds ? At the same time, if any one should come and tell us, that 
he had seen such a thing, we should scarcely credit him off hand. 
Only on his producing the most indubitable evidence of the truth of 
what he was asserting, should we believe him ; not otherwise. Fori 
in proportion as a thing is extraordinary, we require strong proof of it« 
And, inasmuch as metempsychosis is in the highest degree improbable, 
and is supported by no satisfactory and convincing evidence, I cannot 
accept it; for your maxim that suffering always presupposes individual sini 
and cannot otherwise be accounted for, is, as I have shewn, untenable.'** 

* To these argnments against metempoychosis may also this be added, tb&t 
^ every one who is rewarded or puQlshed ought to know vshy he is rewarded or 

punished i for otherwise no good can come from his being rewarded or 






Besides the gods and goddesses that have been described in the second 
part of this Genealogy, these heathens worship also another set of 
deities, called QuiruiCfitamjssar Gramadevatas, i. e. tutelar deities, which 
are supposed to protect the fields, villages, and towns from evil spirits, 
and to ward offall sorts of plagues, famine, pestilence, war, conflagration, 
and inundation, and are, in short, regarded as beings who, though they 
cannot bestow positive blessings, are able to prevent evil. They are, 
however, not so highly esteemed as the Mummtirttis and their families ; 
as also the offerings that are made unto them differ greatly from those 
made to the latter, inasmuch as they consist, for the greater part, in 
bloody sacrifices of unclean animals, such as swine, goats, and cocks, 
which are offered up by people of the lower orders ; for the Brahmans 
shrink from shedding blood.f 

The Gramadevatas are, with the exception of Ayenar, females ; and con- 
cerning them a heathen wrote : " The female Gramadgvatas originated 
in the Parasakti, and enjoyed once great glory with the divinity, but 
having become proud and arrogant, they were cursed and banished to 
this world, where they have got the office to protect men from the evil 
spirits among whom they reign as queens. At the end of the world, 

' * In order to make the accdant of the GramadSyatas clearer than it is in the German 
original, the translator has remodelled the whole, substituting for Dr. Germann's scat- 
tered remarks an appendix of one piece. 

f The worship of the tutelar deities and the demons that are associated with them 
forms, in fact, a distinct religion, which differs very much from that of Siva and 
Vishnu, but has, on the other hand, much in common with the Sakti-worship. The 
Brahmans and others of the higher castes are, in general, ashamed of worshipping 
the Gramadevatas and their associates ; yet, in great distress when their faith in 
Siva or Vishnu fails them, then they too very often make a vow to one or another 
of the Gramadsvatas ( if possible without the knowledge of others): so prevalent and 
strong is the belief that the tutelar deities can procure help in distress. 


however, the cane will be removed, and then they will again be united 
to the Parasakti, and regain their former glory. Meanwhile we worship 
them as our guardians, and celebrate annual festivals in honor of every 
one of them." 

The GramadSvatas, properly so called, are : Ayenar, with PfiraDai 
and Pudkalai, his two wives ; EUammen, Mariammen, Ankalammen, 
Bhadi*akali, Pidari, Chamundi, and Durga; and among the various 
images that are found in their pagodas together with their own, that ot 
Virabhadra, of whom we shall give particulars, is the principal one; and 
including in this part also the Evil Spirits from whom the GramadSvatas 
are to protect men, it will consist of the following six chapters. * 

Chap. I. Ayenar, with PHranai and Fudkali. 

Chap. II. Ellammen and Mariammen. 

Chap. III. Ankalammen and Bhadrakali. 

Chap. ly. Pidari, Chamundi, and Durga. 

Chap. V. Virabhadra. 

Chap, y I. The Demons, named FSygel and Bh^tas, and the Giants, 
called S&kshasas and Asuras. 



Ayendr, with his two Wives , Puranai and Pudkalai. 

The chief and the onlj male deity among the Gramadgvatas is siu^ir 
Ajenar (lord). He is also named ^iBiunLf/sfiffar Hari-Hara-putra, i. e. 
Vishnu-Siva's son, because he is said to owe his origin to the union of 
Siva with Vishnu in a female form, called Mohini. Ajenar is represent- 
ed bj a human form in a sitting posture, with a red skin, a crown on his 
head, and pearls in his locks. On his forehead he wears the mark of the 
Saivas, which is mada with sacred ashes of burnt cow-dung ; on his ears 
and neck he is adorned with pearls, and on his breast with a sort of rib- 
• bon'; while his arms, hands, feet, and his whole body hang full of vari- 
•ous jewels and ornaments. In his right hand he holds a sceptre, to indi- 
cate that he rules as a king among the devils. Round his body and his 
left leg he wears a kind of belt, called fif/r^uu/loot. Bahupaddai, which 
is also used by sages and others when they sit. From his shoulders gar- 
lands hang down. The upper part of his body is uncovered, whilst the 
lower is covered with a motley garment. 

Ayenar*s two wives, yjW Puranai and i^tLs^ Pudkalai, are repre- 
sented as having natural bodies of a yellow color, with crowns on their 
heads, holding flowers in their hands, and being on the whole adorned 
like the other goddesses. Puranai wears on her forehead the mark of 
Kasturi, and Pudkalai that of Siva made with sacred ashes. Thus they 
sit to the right and left of their husband. 

The pagodas of Ayenar are so numerous that there is one almost in 
every village. They are, however, small, and stand usually at some 
distance west of the village in a grove. At their entrance stand two 
door-keepers, called Qpearart^iuitH Munnadiy&r (head-servants), who have 
crowns on their heads, and thick sticks in their hands, and are, with 
lions* teeth in their mouths, altogether terrible. In the first apartment 
stand seven small figures of stone, called ^/s/sunrjsnMor Sapta-matas, i. e. 
seven matrons, who are under a curse. Their names are as follows: 
1 . ^fflsff^rfl Trikara-sHri (the three-handed demoness) ; 2. Qpiusff(^ifl(^ ?) 
Muyakara-stiri ; 3. ^a^^^nQpmuf. Rakta-Chamundi ( blood-Cham undi) ; 
4. ^irLL<:u.ffl Katteri (sylvan demoness) ; 5. usatfi Bhagavati (goddess) ; 
6. enireo^fi^ Bala-Sakti (the young Sakti) j 7. Ljeuear^ji^ Bhuvana-Sakti 
(world- Sakti). In the same apartment are also two images of Vighn6s- 
vara, and these as well as those mentioned before are now and then 



Ellammen and Mdriammen. 

The Gramadevata €r€oeou)U)ek Ellammen has, in local traditions, been 
identified with RSnuka, the wife of Jamadagni, and mother of Para- 
surama. The legend of Parasurama and his mother is related in the 
Mahabharata, and a translation of the same is inserted in Wilson's Vish- 
nu Purana, and this the translator gives here, together with the variations 
and additions that are found in the local traditions. - 

^* Jamadagni, the son of Richika, was a pious sage, who, by the fer- 
vour of his devotions, whilst engaged in holy study, obtained entire 
possession of the VSdas. Having gone to king Prasenajit, he demanded 
in marriage his daughter Rgnuka, and the king gave her unto him. 
The descendant of Bhrigu conducted the princess to his hermitage, and 
dwelt with her there, and she was content to partake in his ascetic life. 
They had four sons, and then a fifth, who was Jamadagnya ( or Parasa- 
rama), the last but not the least of his brethren ( according to the Vishnu 
Purana, " a portion of Narayana, the spiritual guide of the universe"). 
Once when her sons were all absent, to gather the fruits on which they 
fed, Rgnuka, who was exact in the discharge of all her duties, went forth 
to bathe. On her way to the stream (local tradition names the Kaveri) 
she beheld Chitraratha, the prince of Mrittikavati, with a garland of 
lotuses on his neck, sporting with his queen in the water, and she felt 
envious of their felicity. (Local tradition says, she beheld in the water 
the shadow of heavenly choristers flying through the air.) Defiled 
by unworthy thoughts, wetted but not purified by the stream, she re- 
turned disquieted to the hermitage, and her husband perceived her 
agitation. Beholding her fallen from perfection, and shorn of the lustre 
of her sanctity, Jamadagni reproved her, and was exceeding wroth. 
Upon this ther^ came her sons from the wood, first the eldest^ Rumanvat, 
then Sushena, then Vasu, and then Visvavasu ; and each, as he entered, 
was successively commanded by his father to put his mother to death ; 
but amazed, and influenced by natural affection, neither of them made 
any reply : therefore Jamadagni got angry, and cursed them, and they 
became as idiots, and lost all their understanding, and were like unto 
beasts or birds. Lastly, Rama ( Parasurama) returned to the hermitage, 
when the mighty and holy Jamadagni said unto him, '' Kill thy mother, 
who has sinned ; and do it, son, without repining." Rama accordingly 
took his axe, and struck off his mother's head. ( Local traditions add : 
The mother took refuge with the Pariahs, and when these would not 
give her up, he killed all together with his mother, and brought her head to 


his father.) Upon this the wrath of the illastrious and mighty Jamad- 
agni was assuaged, and he was pleased with his son and said, *^ Since 
thoa hast obeyed my commands, and done what was hard to be perform- 
ed, demand from me whatever blessings thou wilt, and thy desires shall, 
be fulfilled." Then Rama begged of his father these boons : the res to* 
ration of his mother to life, with forgetfulness of her having been slain, 
and purification from til defilement ; the return of his brothers to their 
natural condition ; and, for himself, invincibility in single combat, and 
length of days : and all these did his father bestow." (Local traditioi^ 
adds : Parasurama went with the head of his mother to the place where 
he had killed her, and when he could not find her body among the mul- 
titude of slain Pariahs, he put it on the body of a Pariah woman ; and 
this then became the tutelar deity EUammen.) 

Ellammen is represented in a sitting posture, with a red skin, a fiery 
face, and four arms and hands. On her head she wears a crown, round 
which there are serpents ; for these heathens say that her pagodas are 
abodes of serpents ; and when they see snakes, they call on Ellammen to 
drive them away. On her forehead she has three streaks of sacred ashes, 
and on the whole she is adorned like the other goddesses. In her four hands 
she holds respectively a kind of drum, called Damaru ; a trident, called 
Sfila ; a bundle of ropes, called Ps^a, and the skull of Brahma's fifth head, 
which was cut off by Siva. Of this skull it is said that it attracts all the 
blood shed on earth, and does nevertheless never get full; and inasmuch as 
the GiiLmadevatas receive bloody sacrifices, they usually hold it in their 
hands. An image of the above description, cast of metal, is found in her 
pAgodas ; but her principal image, to which offerings are made, is of stone, 
^presenting but her head, in the earth, to indicate that only her head 
was made alive, and put on the body of another woman. 

The temples of Ellammen are numerous, but usually very small. The 
images found in them, besides that of herself, are the following : 1. ^ld/ss 
Qc^LDir/flfif Jamadagni Ma-Rishi, her husband, who ordered her to be 
killed ; 2. Quir/i^jffir^ir PStturaja (bull-king), her herald ; 3. LaaoeoaQ^ 
^^ Mallagachetti, a hero who assists her in battle ; 4. uja-ffiruiar Para- 
surama, her son, said to be an incarnation of Vishnu ; 5. ^tSn^^of t^psnirir 
Uyirttundilkarer, her servants who, having themselves died a violent 
death, catch those who die a violent death, and bring them into Ellam- 
naen's society ; 6. Vighngsvara with his elephant's head ; 7. Bhadra- 
K&li ; 8. LDir^jinaQ Mattangi, the Pariah woman on whose head 
^llammen's (Renuka*s) head was put. Besides these, there are some- 
times also images of large serpents in her pagodos, to which the people 
make a Salam ( an Arabian word meaning peace, the usual salutation in 
India), or a bow. 

The priest in her pagodas is a Pandaram (a Saiva devotee), who makes 
offerings to her on every Friday, or oftener. But she is also worshipped 
hy common people in various ways. When somebody is bitten by a 
poisonous snake, he calls on Ellammen. When the fishermen cannot go 



out fishing, or when they are in danger at sea, they tow sonoething io 
Ellammen ; and when they catch large fishes, they bring her of them, 
together with large bones, many of which lie before her pagodas. Also 
others make a vow to her in danger. In her honor a large festival is 
celebrated every year, lasting eight days, on which she is carried about 
and receives sacrifices, consisting of swine, goats, and cocks, which are 
beheaded before her pagoda, and then eaten by the people, excepting the 
heads which belong to the priest. Besides this, they bring also a great 
quantity of boiled rice, which is consumed by the priest and those who 
carry about the images. At this festival, they have, moreover, a cruel play 
in honor of the goddess. Some get a hook fastened in the skin of their 
back, and are then swung hanging on a high pole. The same thing they 
do also at the festivals of Ayenar and Mariammen, though not every 

As regards LDvifiiuihu>ar Ms,riammen ( literally the m other of deat h, or of 
contagious diseases, more especially of the small-pox), she is supposed to 
inflict the small-pox, measles, and similar diseases, and also to deliver 
from them. Those, therefore, who get the small-pox believe that the dig- 
ease is owing to the wrath of M&,riammen, which must be appeased with 
offerings. Sometimes it happens that those who have the small-pox, of 
which there are three kinds, and among them a fatal one, are forsaken 
by their friends under the pretext of avoiding the wrath of IVf ariammen ; 
and of those who die of it, the people say that the goddess has fetched 
them into her company. Mariammen is represented in a sitting postuiie, 
with four hands, in which she holds the same weapons as Ellammen. Her 
pagodas are to be found every where, usually at some distance from the 
villages in groves. Many of them are somewhat large, and surrounded by a 
wall, within which there is a vaulted stage, containing figures of wood, oo 
which she is carried about at festivals ; and in front of sdl of them stands 
an altar of stone, called u€SliSu.u> (sacrificial altar). Injhejpagoda stands 
her image of stone, together with that of yighnesy|i|*jir*TKitner "Image w 
also made of metal ; and small images of wood or stone, representing all 
the different Gi*amadevatas, are sometimes found in the houses of these 
heathens. Opposite to her pagoda stands a little temple, in which are the 
following images : i. Vira-Bhadra ;'|' 2. Mattaogi ; Z^ ars^Lt>ir/sfiLf.isaaf 
Sukkumattadikkarer (the wearers of a staff called Sukkumatjadi), her 
door-keepers; 4. ^n^^nek Kattan, a chief among the demons, concerning 
whom a heathen wrote as jfoUows : " Kattan was born of the wife of a 
Brahman in adultery, and being expose? by his mother, he was found 

* The translator witnessed this cruel play on a preaching ezcarsion in 
1863 at Perlapaliam, about 20 miles north-west of Madras ; and when he asked 
■ome of those who had undergone the torture why they had undergone it» 
they said, '' In order to fulfil a vow to the goddess who has saved as oat 
of great danger.'* 

t See a description of Vira-6hadra*B image in the following chapteri and 
an accoant of his origin and feats in the fifth chapter of part iii. 


and brought up by a Pariali. When grown up, he prftctised black arts, 
by w^hich he knew the hour and manner of his death, viz., that he ehould 
be put on the spit. He was much addicted to fornication, and violated 
all the Pariah women in that place. The men therefore tried to lay hold 
on him, in order to put him on the spit, But they could not get him. At 
last he pat himself on the spit, telling the people that they would never 
have succeeded in getting him, bat inasmuch as the hour of his death 
was come, he would herewith kill himself. Thus he died and was receive 
ed into the service of Mariaramen, that he might bring to her all who die 
by their own hands." Of him the people are more afraid than of Mari- 
aaimen, wherefore most goats and cocks are sacrificed to him. 5, Qmi^ 
LjOLjm Idaippen ( shepherd woman), a Pariah woman, who gave Kattan 
butter-milk when he was athirst on the spit ; 6, unuutr^fi Pappatti, the 
daughter of a Brahman, stolen and kept as a mistress by Kattan ; 7, O^ 
LLi^LjQumr Chettippen, the daughter of a merchant, likewise stolen and 
abused by Kattan. Besides these images, there are many more fi<^ures of 
clay, both within and without the enclosure of the pagodas, all of which 
are presented, in fulfilment of vows, by people who recover from the 
small-pox. These, however, are not worshipped, but regarded simply 
as ornaments. 

In those pagodas which have a tolerably good income, Mariammen re- 
ceives an offering daily, in the poor ones only on Friday. Besides the 
ordinary offerings that are made to her by the priest, she receives also 
now and then extraordinary offerings, consisting of eatables, which are 
laid before the pagoda by women who desire something of her, or wish 
to thank her for deliverance from evil ; and these offerings belong to 
the priest and other servants of the pagoda. Moreover, in her honor an 
annual festival is celebrated, which lasts eight days, when her image is 
carried about every morning and evening. On the last and principal 
day, many thousands of people, more especially women, gather together 
near her pagoda, kindle fires, boil rice and other things, and make offer- 
ings therewith to Mariammen. The men bring goats, swine, and cocks 
and beheading them before the pogoda, ask the goddess to protect 
them and theirs in the coming year from all evil. They have at the 
same time also dancing and other plays. This festival is not celebrated 
at a fixed time, but whenever it is convenient to the people of a place. 

There are no books written about Mariammen, but a few stories are told 
of her in various books ; and therefore she has also got a certain number 
of names, viz., 1, mnS Mari (death, small-pox) ; 2, uxr/Hujuyaow Mariam- 
mai (mother of death or small-pox) ; 3, mtrji^njoQ Mattangi ; 4, Cunrif, 
Modi (show, enchantment) ; 5, Qsstr^^ Koddi (the valiant female) 5 6, 
(^fft Siiri (heroine) ; 7, m(Bs;arjSiinu Vadugantai, or 8, €u(BQ Vad'ugi 
(Vadugan's, [i. e. Bhairava's] mother) ; 9, LDsnuQu(i^i<:jgeB Mah&perun- 
devi (the very great goddess) ; 10, «/r®«/r«r or Air(B3;fretru>tg>LD Kadukal- 
ammai (the forest-goddess) ; 11, Qs;nu^eir€ueo€9 Komala-valli (the beauti- 
fttl female) ; etc. 


In conclusion we quote fh>m % letter of a heathen the followii^; pa»* 
Sftge : ^'Mariamtnen presides over the small-pox and similar diseases, that 
is to say, she sends them, and removes them. Those, therefore, who get 
such diseases pray to her, and get an offering made unto her, that she 
may remove them. And when it happens that one or another of her 
devotees gets possessed of a devil, he calls on her to cast out the evil 
spirit, and is then made whole by her ; for the devils, among whom she, 
together with the other Gramad^vatas, rules as a queen, obey her." 



AiikdlaTnmen and Bhadrdkdli. 

The Gramads^ata ^Asirmthuiar Ankilammen is represented by an 
image with four arms and hands, two of which she raises, holding in the 
right one a certain weapon of wood and leather, with a snake round 
about it, and in the left one a cord, called Pd^a, with which she is sup* 
posed to draw the souls of dying people to herself ; and in one of the 
other two of her hands she holds the skull of Brahma, whilst the fourth 
is empty. On her head she wears a crown; behind her ears, two flowers; 
and in them, large ear-rings. Her hair is erect, and near her are two lamps 
which however, do not always bum. Otherwise she is adorned like the 
other goddesses* 

As regards Ankilammen's pagodas, they are in some places very 
small, in others larger, and on the whde like those of Ellammen and Ma- 
riammen. In the inner apartment stands Ank&lammen, and in the outer 
one the following images are found : i, tSju^fifftk Virabhadra, having 
erect black hair, with a crown on his head, lion's teeth in the mouth, 
the mark of Siva on his forehead, two white flowers behind bis ears, 
and streams of fire issuing from his whole body. He has fourteen arms 
and hands, of which four are empty, and in the remaining ten he hdds, 
respectively, a sword, a trident, a shield, a sort of drum, a bell, a flower, 
two arrows, and a large spear. He wears, moreover, a long string of 
skulls ; and has sometimes only four, sometimes sixteen or more heads. 
According to the Puranas he ought to have 1000 heads and 2000 arms, 
but such a monster could hardly be made.* 2, QuiBiu/BunSairtir Periya- 
tambiran (the great god), an image similar to that of Isvara, and meant 
to represent the lord of the sacrifice of Daksha [concerning which see the 
story of Virabhadral. 3, Sc^artk Irnlen (a savage) ; 4, QirmreSffdr 
Ranavlra, and 5. utrmnmL^^ntk P&vidaivlra, both heroes among the de- 
mons. 6, vuv^ftfi^mi^pminra^ Uyirtundilkarer, servants of Ankalammen, 
whose business is to bring those who die by their own hands into the 
society of their mistress ; 7, ^s(j^fi^/gLDLDirar llkkuthittammal, a woman 
who jumped into the fire, and is said to have done many signs after her 
death ; 8, ^wiLQi^itt KattSri, a mighty demoness, of whom these heathens 
are very much afraid, and whom they worship in order to propitiate 
her. All these images, which are usually made of wood, are worshipped 
with ofi^erings ; but the multifarious figures of clay within and without 
the enclosure of the pagodas are not worshipped. 

* Regarding Virabhadra's origin and exploits see the fifth chapter. 


The image of Ank&lammen which stands in the inner apartment of the 
pagoda is worshipped every Friday, or oftener, with drink-offering, meat* 
offering and incense. Besides these ordinary offerings, she gets now and 
then also a thank-offering from her devotees ; and, like the other god- 
desses, she enjoys a yearly movable festival, lasting seven or nine days, 
on which her image of metal is carried about, every morning and evening 
with dance and music ; and the last and principal day is celebrated like 
the last day of Mariammen's festival. Her office is, to ward off evil, 
and to cast out devils. 

The goddess u^flffsrJii Bhadrakali (the strong Kali) is said to have 
been Isvara's wife, but to have become arrogant, in consequence of 
which she was banished to this world, where she is now one of the queens 
who rule over the demons, and protect men from them. She is repre- 
sented in a dancing attitude ; for she danced once in emulation with 
Isvara who, for this reason, is called QuCiugu-wi^ Feyodadi (the dancer 
with a devil), and represented in a dancing attitude in the large and famoui 
pi^oda at Ghitarabaram, where, at the annual great festival, his dancing 
with Bhadrakali is acted. Bhadrakali wears on her head a fiery crowov 
round which are serpents, and her whole body is glowing with fire. On 
her forehead she has Isvara*s mark of sacred ashes, and in her month two 
great lion*teeth. She has ten arms and hands, four of which are 
empty, and in the other six she holds, respectively, a rope, a parrot, a 
lance, a kind of drum round which is a snake, a trident, and fire. An 
image of this description is found in her pagodas, together with Yigh- 
nS^vara, Virabhadra and Aghora. The last one, supposed to be a form of 
'Isvara, is represented in a dancing attitude, having fourteen arms and 
hands, in which he holds various weapons. On his head, he wears a 
crown ; in his long erect locks, on one side Ganga, and on the other the 
Moon ; on his forehead, the Saiva sign made with sacred ashes ; and on 
his feet, wooden slippers, in which he danced with Bhadrakali ; whilst 
garlands hang down from his shoulders. 

Concerning Aghora a heathen wrote as fdlows : *' There was once a 
mighty giant, named inQ^^jpoieBr Marutva, who did very severe penance, 
till the divinity appeared unto him, and asked him what he desired for 
his penance ; whereupon he required the boon that all he thought sfaoold 
-immediately come to pass, and that no one should be able to overcome or 
kill him. The divinity granted him this boon; upon which he conquered 
many countries and expelled the kings, who went then to Isvara to com- 
plain to him of the giant and to ask him to redress their wrongs. Isvara 
promised help, and sent forth Bhadrakali to destroy the giant ; but she 
was not able to do so. Then he sent all the gods against him ; but thej 
also could not overcome him. At last Isvara himself coming forth from 
a Linga in the terrible form of Aghora which stands in Bhadrakali's pa- 
godas, destroyed the tyrant. This happened at fi(ii^Q^B^ff(Si. Tiruven- 
kadu, where the principal image in the pagoda is Aghora with Bhadra- 

In those of her pagodas which have a good income, Bhadrakali is daily 


once worshipped in the inner apartment, with offerings similar to those 
made to Isvara and Vishnu, which are usually performed by a Brahman. 
But the sacrifices made on the altars before the pagodas, and consisting 
of swine, goats, cocks, strong drink, and other things, are performed by 
StLdras or Pariahs ; for the Brahmans will have nothing to do with the 
shedding of blood, though' they, too, believe, that the GramadSvatas and 
the chief among the devils cannot be made propitious except by the shed- 
ding of blood. Human sacrifices, however, are not made at present. 
But, in former days, human victims were offered on various occasions.* 
Moreover, Bhadrak^li and the other Gramadigvatas are believed to assist 
in the practice of black arts. When the wizards do their wicked things, 
they make a circle with different figures, mutter certain invocations ad- 
dressed to the devil, and make one represent the devil, who speaks then 
through him as his medium with the wizard, and tells him what must be 
done before his request can be fulfilled. 

Like :the other Gr3,mad€vatas, Bhadrak§,li enjoys an annual festival, 
which lasts seven or nine days, and is, on the whole, celebrated like the 
festivals of the other tutelar deities. There are no special books written 
about Bhadrakali, but as there are several stories related of her in con- 
nection with Isvara, she has got various names, of which the follow- 
ing may be mentioned : I. ^rfl Stlri (heroine, demoness) ; 2. stirefi EEli 
(the black one); 3. unr^^S Malini ; 4. ereirCL^neifi End5lt (the eight-should 
dered) ; 5. @6fi S^i (she who wears a trident) ; 6. <?^«fi Dgvi (goddess); 
t. fSfR Viri (heroine) ; 8. to/r^/r Mats, (mother) ; 9. amsatHi Kankali 
(she who wears skeletons) ; 10. Qeu/tneH Vgtali (demoness) ; 1 1 . u>^bQ 
Matangi (the young woman); 12. a>uir^ Bhairavi (the Sakti of Bhairava); 
13. ^n(y>mrL^ Cbamundi ; 14. tueo90fmii(^ Vallanangu (the malevolent 
goddess) ; 15. smiu Ayai (mistress) ; 16. iuitld^ Yllmalai. 17. ^wmas 
Qsffi^ojjT&r Alagaikkodial (she on whose banner a devil is painted) ; 18. 
mgju^ Madhupati (mistress of ardent spirits) ; 19. tunefig^/rfi Yaliytlrti 
(she who rides the lion) ; 20. ^eoeSajLonGDiu UlaviyamS,ya (walking de- 
ception) ; 21. Qpssemeei) Mukkanni (the three-eyed). 

* " The Khonds, a hill tribe in the province of Orissa, worship the earth 
as a goddess ; and formerly, in order to obtain good crops, they considered 
it neoeseary to propitiate her by offering human blood. Children were stolen 
from the low country, and purchased by the Khonds as Meriah sacrifices. 
■The boy was bonnd, his limbs were broken ; the priest first struck him with 
an axe ; and then all the people cut the living body into pieces, each carry- 
ing off a bloody morsel which was thrown in some part of their fields. This 
cruel practice has been greatly checked by the British Government. More- 
over, formerly persons sometimes threw themselves before the car of Jagana- 
tha, and were crushed to death by the ponderous wheels." (Manual of Geo^ 
graphy.) See also chap. ii. of the appendix to part iv. 



Piddri, Chdmundi, and Durga. 

These three, and indeed all the Gr&madevatas, are very similar to 
each other, most of them being onlj diflerent forms or caricatures of 

As regards iSu^/tt Pidari, she is represented in a sitting posture, firo 
issuing from her whole bodj, to indicate her great wrath. On her head 
she wears a crown ; in her erect locks various ornaments ; on her fore- 
head, the mark of Siva; in the large holes of her ears, bulky je web; and 
behind her ears, two flowers. She has four arms and hands, holding in 
them, respectively, a drum with a snake, a trident, the skull of Brahma, 
and a goad. Her throne is an altar. Her pagodas are numerous and 
of different sizes, containing besides the image of Pidari also one of 
Vighnesvara ; and the entrance is guarded by two horrible doiM'-keepers, 
called Qparmt^iuMff Munnadiyar. In the larger pagodas many more 
images of stone, representing her eighteen generals with their soldiers, 
as well as images of metal are found. In the small pagodas are the images 
of metal which are likely to be stolen, and therefore they are locked up 
in the larger ones till the annual festival, when they are brought forth. 
Nevertheless, now and then an image of metal is stolen. The image of 
atone, however, is never removed, and to it drink offbrings and meat 
offerings with incense are made once a week by the priest ; whilst on 
the altar before the pagoda, common people lay various other offerings, 
which the priest receives. The festival celebrated in her honor lasts 
seven or nine days, and is, on the whole, like those of the other Gra- 

Concerning Pidiri a heathen wrote as follows : ** Pidari is one of the 
nine^aktis and a queen among the devils, who must obey her. Tho se 
wEohan^JthemselveSa or take poison, or dtc 'sndileniy s ome how or o ther, 
come into her society as devils, over whom she reign s, and whom sh e 
prevents from hurting men, for which reason the latte r honor h er by 
celebrating an annual festival ; etc.** 

The Gramad^vata ^nQpmi^ Chamundt is, on the whole, represented 
like Pidari, only not sitting, bnt standing on the buffalo-head of the giant 
Mahisha, whom she is said to have slain with the two weapons of Visbou 
called Sankha and Chakra, which she holds in two of her ^oar 
hands. Concerning her one of these heathens wrote as follows : ** Cha- 
mundi is a form of Parvati. When the latter went to see the great sacri- 
fice of Daksha, she was slighted; and when she returned, in her anger, 
to Isvara to complain to him of the slight she had received, she was 


stopped bj the giant Mabisha-asura, who, having been a buffalo, and as 
such tiie vehicle of the sage Agastya, bad, in consequence of Agastya's 
curse, become a giant with a baffalo's head. Parvati first asked the 
giant, to let her pass by ; and when he would not comply with her re- 
quest, she fought with him and wounded him; but from his blood sprang 
new giants. In her great distress then, she called on Vishnu for help, 
who gave her his two weapons, the Sankha and Chakra. And by means 
of these weapons, which, absorbing all the blood, did not allow it to turn 
into new giants, she got the victory ; after which she came, burning 
with wrath, to Isvara ; but he, being disgusted with her furious appear- 
ance, banished her to the earth, to be a queen among the devils." 

Another one wrote : " Chamundi gives her devotees valour, and assists 
the wizards in the practice of the black art; wherefore she is more espe- 
cially the patroness of warriors and wizards." In Chamundi's pagodas, 
which are not numerous, stand the following images : 1. Chamundi, 
both of stone and of metal ; 2. Yighnesvnra ; 3. Ylrabhadra, usually of 
wood. ; 4 Uyirttnndilkarer ; 5. vQjpsniruQuiu Evelkarappey, that is a 
demon who serves her as messenger. At her annual festival all these 
are worshipped with offerings ; but Vighnesvara gets also a share in the 
weekly offerings, which are like those made to the other Gramadevatas. 

The last tutelar deity is named j^/rifiD^ Durga, and represented with a 
sheep's head, standing on the giant SiBtsQps(^irsBr Sinham*ukhasui'a, i. e. 
the lion-faced, whom she killed, though as often as his head was severed 
from his body a new one sprang up. Her head is fiery and adorned with 
different jewels. On her forehead she wears a crescent made with 
sacred ashes of burnt cow-dung. In five of her six hands she holds, res- 
pectively, a ring, a sword, a trident, a goad, and a skull. Of Durga 
various indecent stories are related, according to which she was the 
daughter of the lustful giantess Mahamaya, and the sage Kasyapa, and 
in consequence of their cohabitation in the form of sheep, Durga was 
born with a sheep's head. 
. Durga has various names, of which the following may be mentioned : 
1. useu^ Bhagavati (goddess), after which name several of her pagodas 
are named : 2. /^eS Nili (the blue one); 3. ^Q^irQpQ Ajomukhi (the 
sheep-headed) ; 4. ^e^iB Sauri (heroine) ; 5. saesnu Ayai (mistress); 6. 
ew/TOT ee^AdQjsfrearQL^ir&r Valkaikondol (she who holds a sword) ; 7. @^ 
Suli (she who holds a trident) ; 8. ^fs^ffl Sundari (the beautiful) ; etc. 
Her pagodas correspond to those of Ayenar, and the principal images in 
them, besides her own, are those of Vighnesvara, Virabhadra and Bha- 
drakali. The oflBlciating priest in her pagoda, called ^«F/r/^ Piijdri 
(sacrificing priest), makes offerings to her every Friday, and receives 
also those offerings which are now and then brought by the people in 
fulfilment of vows. The annual festival celebrated in her honor is just 
like the festivals of the other Gramadevatas ; and she is, like Chamundi, 
supposed to give valour, and to assist in the practice of the black art. 


146 y<^|L«BikJPM. 


(From the Viyu Purinf^*)* 

'* In former times, the patriarch Daksha commenced a holy sacrifice 
on the side of Himav&n, at the sacred spot of Gangadvara, frequented 
by the Rishis. The gods, desirous of assisting at this solemn rite, came, 
with Indra at their head, to MahadSva (Siva), and intimated their pur- 
pose ; an4 having received his permission, departed in their splendid 
chariots to Gangadv&ra, as tradition reports. They found Daksha, the 
best of the devout, surrounded by the singers and nymphs of heaven, 
and by numerous sages, beneath the shade of clustering trees and climb- 
ing plants ; and all of them, whether dwellers of the earth, the air, or 
the regions pibove the skies, approached the patriarch with outward 
gestures of respect. The Adityas, Yasus, Budras, Maruts, all entitled to 
partake of the oblations, together with Vishnu, were present. The four 
classes of Pitris, Ushmapas, Samapas, Ajyapas, DhQmapas (or those who 
feed upon the flame, the acid juice, the butter, or the smoke of offerings) 
the Asvins and progenitors, came along with Brahma. Creatures ol 
every class, bom from the womb, the egg^ from vapour, or vegetation, 
came upon the invocation ; as did all the i^ods, with their brides, who, 
in their resplendent vehicles, blazed like so many fires. Beholding them 
thus assembled, the sage Dadhicha was filled with indignation, and ob- 
served, " The man who worships what ought not to be worshipped, or 
pays not reverence where reverence is due, is guilty, most assuredly, of 
heinous sin. '* Then addressing Daksha, he said to him. Why do you 
not offer homage to the god who is the lord of life ? Dakshi^ spake ; " I 
have already many Rudras present, armed with tridents, wearing braided 
hair, and existing in eleven forms : I recognise no other MahMeva*'* 
Dadhisha spake ; ^' The invocation that is not addressed to Isa (Siva) 
is, for all, but a solitary and ioaperfect summons. Inasmuch as I behold 
no other divinity who is superior to Sankara (Siva), this sacrifice of 
Daksha will not be completed." Daksha spake ; '*I offer, in a golden 
cup, this entire oblation, which has been consecrated by many prayer^ 
as an offering ever due to the unequalled Vishnu, the sovereign lor(l 

<* In the meanwhile, the virtuous daughter of the mountain Wn% 
(I^rvati^, observing the departure of the divinities, addressed her lord> 

* See Wilson's Vishnu Fnrana p, 62—69. Thif giory la idso rdated by one «f 
Ziegenbalg*8 correspondents, but as the version of the V&yu Parana gives more 
particolars, it has been preferred by t^ ^lanslator. 

Hm gdd oTliTirig beiogi, floia Midi WfaitlM, oh kir^ lfwr# th» gMs, 
preceded t^ Indra, ty 8 day deptrted F Tell me tmfy, eb th^u wito kty0#u 
est an tratb, for a great doubt perplexes me. MafaiBvaM spake i 
** Uluflirioas geddess, the exoelleiit patriarcb Daksha, oetobrates th6 
iacriiee of a horse, and thither the gods repair." DSri spske ; " Why 
then, most mighty god, dost not thou also proceed to this solemnity ? hf 
what hittderaoce is thj progress thither impeded ?" Mah^svara spake 9 
** This is the contrivance, mighty queen, of all the gods^ that in all sacri* 
fices no portion shoald be assigned to me. In consequence of a» arrange^ 
oient formerly devised^ the gods allow me, of right, no participatioii 
ef saerit^al offerings."' DSvi spake ; " The lord god lives in all bodily 
Ibrms, and his might is eminent through his superior faculties ; he is 
unsurpassable, he is unapproachable, in splendour, and glory, and pawep# 
That, such as he should be excluded from his share of oblations, ilBs me 
with deep sorrow, and a trembling, oh sinless, seizes upon my frame^ 
Sball I now practice bounty, restraint, or penance,^ so that my lord, who 
is inconeeirabie, amy obtain a dliare, a half or a third portion^ of thcr 
saeri6oe ?" ♦ 

" Then the mighty and incomprehensible deity^ being pleased, said 
to his t»ride; ^' Slender waisted queen of the gods, thou knowest not the 
ipurpori o£ what thou sayest ; but 1 know it,, oh thou with large eyes f 
^r the holy declare all things by meditation. By thy perplexity thk' 
^y are all tiie gods, with Mah€ndra, and all Uie three worlds, utterly 
oenfounded. In my saorificev those who worship me repeat my praises, 
and chant the Rathantara song of the Sama Vsda ; my priests worship 
me in the sacrifice of true wisdom, where no officiating Brahman is 
needed ; and in this they offer me my portion." Devi spake ; ** The 
lord is the root of all, and assuredly, in every assemblage of the female 
World, he pruses or hides himself at will." Mad^va spake : " Oh queen of 
the gods^ I pri^e not myself ; approach, and behold whom I shall cr^ite 
foe the purpose of claiming my share of the rite." 

• «* Thi« simple accoant/' observes Prof. Wihon, " of SatiV (or Parvati's) 
share in the traDsaction is considerably modified in other accounts. In the 
KHrma Pumna, the quarrel begins with Daksha's being, as he thinks, treated by 
his son-in-law (Siva) with less respect than is his due. Upon his daughter 
iSati's subsequently visiting him, he abuses her husband, and turns her out of his 
house. She in spite destroys herself. Siva hearing of this, oomes to Daksha« 
and curses him to be born as a Kshatria, the son of the Prachetaaas, and to 
beget a son on his own daughter. It is in this subsequent birth that the 
sacrifice occurs. In like manner also the Linga, Matsya, Padma, Bbagavata, 
and Skanda Puranas relate the dispute between father and daughter in more 
or less detail, and state that the latter put an end to herself. 

From Satra destroying herself from devotion to her husband, the notori<»ui 
eustom of widows' allowing themselves to be burnt with the corpse of their 
husbands derived its name Sati (virtuous wife), anglicised ** Siuttee." 


. Having Aw spoken to his beloved spouse, the mighty MabSsvai^ 
oreated from his mouth a being Hke the fire of fate ; a divine beingj 
with a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet ; wielding a 
thousand clubs, a thousand shafts; hoUling the shell, the discus, the 
mace, and bearing a blazing bow and baltle-aze ; fierce and terrific, 
shining with dreadful splendour, and decorated with the crescent mocm ; 
clothed in a tiger's skin, dripping with blood ; having a capacious 
stomach, and a vast mouth, armed with formidable tusks : his ears were 
erect ; his lips were pendulous ; his tongue was lightning ; his band 
brandished the thunder-bolt ; fames streamed from iiis hair ; a necklace 
of pearls wound round his neck ; a garland of fame descended on bis 
breast : radiant with lustre, he looked like the final fire that consumes 
the world. Four tremendous tusks projected from a mouth which ex^ 
tended from ear to ear ; he was of vast bulk, vast strength, a mighty 
male and lord, the destroyer of the universe ; and like a large fig-tree 
in circumference ; shining like a hundred moons at once ; fierce as the 
fire of love ; having four hands, sharp white teeth, and of mighty fierce- 
ness, vigour, activity and courage ; glowing with the blaze of a thou- 
sand fiery suns at the end of the world, like a thousand undiromed 
moons : in bulk like HimS^ri, Kaltasa, or MSm, or Mandara, with all 
its gleaming herbs ; bright as the sun of destruction at the end of ages ; 
of irrestible prowess, and beautifal aspect ; irascible, with lowering 
eyes, and a countenance burning like fire ; clothed in the hide of the 
elephant and lion, and girt round with snakes ; wearing a turban on bis 
head, a moon on his brow ; sometimes savage, sometimes mild ; having 
a chaplet of many fiowers on his head, anointed with various unguents, 
and adorned with different ornaments and many sorts of jewels ; wearing 
a garland of heavenly Karnikara flowers, and rolling his eyes with rage. 
Sometimes he danced ; sometimes he laughed aloud ; sometimes he stood 
rapt in meditation ; Hometimes he trampled upon the ea^th, sometimes be 
sang ; sometimes he wept repeatedly ; and he was endowed with facul- 
ties of wisdom, dispassion, power, penance, truth, endurance, fortitude 
and self-knowledge.* 

" This being, then, knelt down upon the ground, and raising his hands 
respectfully to his head, said to Mahadeva, ** Sovereign of the gods, 
Command what it is that I must do for thee." To which Mahesvara 
replied, "Spoil the sacrifice of Daksha." Then the mighty Vlrabhadrt, 
having heard the pleasure of his lord, bowed down his head to the feet 
of Praja.paii ; and starting like a lion loosed from his bonds, despoiled 
the sacrifice of Daksha, knowing that he had been created by the dis- 

* The translator has given the whole of the description of Vlrabhadra, as 
a speciitien of the profuse and extravagant style of the Puranas, and the writ- 
ings of the Hindus in general. 

VmUBUkVUM. 149 

l^oifltire of D€Vi. She too in her wrath, as the fearful goddess Radra*- 
kali, accompanied him, with all her train, to witness his deeds. Vira«^ 
hhadra, the fierce, abiding in the region of ghosts, is the minister of the 
aDger of Devi. And he then created, from the pores of his skin, power*^ 
ful demigods, the mighty attendants upon fiudra, of equal valour and 
length, who started by hundreds and tbossands into existence. Then 
a loud and confused clamour filled all the expanse of ether, and inspired 
the denizens of heaven with dread. The mountains tottered, and the 
earth shook]; the winds roared, and the depths of the sea were disturb* 
ed ; the fires lost their radiance, and the sun grew pale ; the planets of 
the firmament shone not, neither did the stars give light; the Risliis 
eeased their hymns, and gods and demons were mute ; and thick dark- 
ness edipsed the chariots of the skies. 

*' Then fix)m the gloom emerged fearful and numerous forms, shout- 
ing the cry of battle, who instantly broke or overturned the sacrificial 
columns, trampled upon the altars, and danced amidst the oblations. 
Running wildly hither and thither, with the speed of wind, they tossed 
about the implements and vessels of sacrifice, which looked like stars 
precipitated from the heavens. The piles of food and beverage for the 
gods, which had been heaped up like mountains ; the rivers of milk ; 
the banks of curds and butter ; tiie sands of honey and butter-milk and 
mgar ; the mounds of condiments and spices of eveiy fiavour ; the un- 
dulating knolls of fiesh and other viands ; the celestial liquors, pastes, 
and confections, which had been prepared ; these the spirits of wrath 
devoured, or defiled, or scattered abroad. Then falling upon the host of 
the gods, these vast and resistless Rudras beat and ternfied them, mock- 
ed and insulted the nymphs and goddesses, and quickly put an end to 
the rite, although defended by the gods ; being the ministers of Rudra's 
wrath, and similar to himself. Some then made a hideous clamour, 
whilst others fearfully shouted, when Yajna was decapitated. For the 
divine Yajna, the lord of sacrifice, then began to Hj up to heaven, in the 
shape of a deer ; and Virabhadra, of immeasurable spirit, apprehending 
his power, cut off his vast head, after he had mounted into the sky. 
His sacrifice being destroyed, Daksha, the patriarch, overcome with terror, 
and utterly broken in spirit, fell then upon the ground, where his head 
was spurned by the feet of the cruel Virabhadra. The multitude of 
sacred divinities were all presently bound, with a band of fire, by their 
lion-like foe ; and they all then addressed him, crying, " Oh Rudra have 
mercy upon thy servants : oh lord, dismiss thine anger." Thus spake 
Brahma and the other gods, and the patriarch Daksha ; and raisiiig their 
hands, they said, " Declare mighty being who thou art." Virabhadra 
said, " 1 am not a god, nor an Aditya ; nor am 1 come hither for enjoy- 
ment, nor curious to behold the chiefs of the divinities : know |hat 1 am 
come to destroy the sacrifice of Daksha, and that I am called Virabhadra, 
the issue of the wrath of Rudra. Bhadrakali also, who has sprung from 
the anger of Devi, is sent here by the god of gods to destroy this rite. 



Take refage, king d kftigs^ wkb btiir ^r4mi Mr tk«^ btd of Vm^ t finrbiMr 
is the anger of Budra than the blessiiigs of other gods." 

** Haring heard the words of Yirabhadra, the righteona Daksha pvopi^ 
ttated the mighty god» the hoUier of the trident^ MabSstara The heai^ 
of sacriice* deserted by the Brabinaii% had beeiv consomed i Tsjna: had 
been metamorpliosed to aa aatelope ; the fires of Rodra^s wraith had been 
kindled ; the attendants* woaadcd by the tridents of the servants el the 
god, were groaning with pain; the pieces of the uprooted saorifidal posts 
were scattered here and there ; and the fragments of the meat-<^eriDgs 
were carried off by flights oi hungry yultures^ a»d herds of howlia^ 
jackals. Suppressing his vital airs, and taking up a posture of medita« 
tion» Daksha, the many sighted victor of his foes, fixed his eyes and 
thoughts. Then the god of gods appeared from the altar^ resplendent as 
a^ thousand 8uns» and smiled upon him, and said, '* Daksha, thy saerifioe 
has been destroyed through sacred knowledge : I am well pleased wiUi 
thee ;" and then he smiled again and said, ** What shall I do for tiiee 3 
declare, together with the preceptor of the gods." 

** Then Daksha, frightened, alarmed, and agitated, his eyea suffused 
with tears, raised his hands Reverentially to his brow, and said, *^ If, lord, 
thou art pleased. ; if I. have found iSavbur in thy sight ; if I am to bo the 
object o£ thy benevolence ; if thou wilt confer upon me a boon, this is the 
blessing I solicit, that ail these pcojvieiona for the soleBOtit sacrifice, which 
have been collected with much trouble and during a long time, and 
which now have been eaten, drunk, devoured^ burnt, broken, scattered 
abroad, may not have been prepared in vain :** '* So let it be,^ rq^ied 
Haca, the subduer of Indra. And thereupon Daksha knelt down upon 
the earthy and praised gratefully Ute author of righteousness, the three** 
eyed god Mahad^va, repeating the eight thousand names of the dekyi 
whose emblem is a bull."* 

♦ " The exploits," obaervcB Prof. WlTsom, •♦ of VirabtAdra and his attlendanttf, 
ate more particularly specified in the Linga, Rtlrma, and Bfa&gavata Ptirflnai. 
Indra is knocked down and trampled on ; Yama has his shaft broken, Sarat- 
vati and the Mlltris have their noses cut off ; Mitra or Bhaga has his eyei 
pulled out ; Pasha has his teeth knocked down hia throat ; Chandra is pum- 
melled ; Vahni's handis are cut off; Bhrigu loses his beard ; the Brahmans 
are pelted with stones ; the Praj§,patis are beaten ; and the gods and demi- 
gods are run through with swords or stuck With arrowa." *' This is a favour- 
ite subject of Hindu sculpture, at least with the Hindus of the- Salva division^ 
and makes a conspicuous figure both at Elephanta and Ellora." 

" In the Vayu Purana, our text, no notice is taken of the conflict elsewhere 
described between Virabhadra and Vishnu. In the Linga PunLna, the latter 
is beheaded, and his bead is blown by the wind into the fire. The Knrma, 
though a Saiva Purana, is less irreverent towards Vi»hnu, and after describing 
a contest in which both parties occasionally prevail, makes Brahma interpose, 

$WA9»AP»A. 151 

and feparate the eombatanti. The K&si Khanda of the Skanda P. describee 
Viehnu as defeated, and at the mercy of Virabhdra, who is prohibited by a 
▼oice from heaven from destroying his antagonist : whilst according to the 
Hari Vansa, Vishnu compelled Siva to fly, after having taken him by the 
throat and nearly strangled him. Aod acoordis^ to the same Parftna, the 
blackness of Siva's neck arose from this throttling, and not, as elswhere 
described, from his drinking the pnisqn produced at the churning of the 
ocean of milk.*' 




Malignant Beings, viz, : \ 

Demons, called Peygel and Bhutas; and Giants, named 

Rakshasas and A suras. 

Having hitherto spoken of the GramadSvatas or tutelar deities, we 
have now shortly to speak of the malignant beings, viz., demons and 
giants, from whom the former are to protect men. As regards the demons, 
they are devided into two classes, named Quiism Peygel (or iS^nsrs&r 
Pisachas), and y^si^&r Bhutas. The PSygel are represented by horrible 
figures, quite black, with lean bodies and horrible faces, flying in the 
air, tormented by hunger and thirst. Concerning their origin these hea- 
thens have different opinions. Some say that they were in the beginning 
created as devils : — for these heathens regard God as the author both of 
good and of evil : — whilst others say that they were originally good crea- 
tures, who became afterwards wicked, for which reason they were cursed 
to be devils. 

One of these heathens wrote concerning them as follows : *^ The de- 
mons or devils were created by Grod as such in the beginning, for the 
purpose of punishing and tormenting great sinners among men, both in 
this world and in that which is to come : for a part of the wicked must, 
after death, wander about in this world as ghosts in the company of 
devils, whilst others are cast into hell, and there tormented by devils." 
Another wrote : " Many creatures in different worlds became proud and 
abused their gifts, in consequence of which they were cursed and partly 
cast into hell, partly banished to this world, where they must wander 
about for a certain time as devils. And also those men who die by their 
own hands, or commit other great crimes, must haunt this world as evil 
spirits, called Peygel or Pisachas." 

Over these devils the Gramadevatas are supposed to exercise au» 
thority ; and the principal ones among them are represented by images, 
and to a certain extent worshipped along with the tutelar deities. Many 
of the devils take possession of men, and all are bent upon d oing mischie f. 
Of the great number of names that are given to the differentcleviis,^e 
mention the following : I. seoauQudj Kalaha-pey, i. e. uproar-devil ; 
2. eamrL^uQuiu Vanda-pey, i. e. impudence- devil ; 3. (^giuQuiu Siidu- 
pey, i. e. gambling-devil ; 4. gupunruLfij^tjiu Irum§.ppu-pey, i. e. airo- 
gance-devin 5. Qsir(BmiJDu(:udj Kodumai-pgy, i. e. cruelty-devil; 6. 
iffi^^L^uQuiu Dushta-pey, i. e. wicked devil ; 7. (^eSajuCudj Siinya-pey, 
i. e. witchcraft-devil ; 8. ea^s^dsauQuii Vanjana-pey, i. e. deceit-devil ; 


9. nii^uQuiu Yarma-pej» i. e. malioe-deTil ; 10. snu^f^^jrauQuiuKlssOk^ 
Tikara-p$7, i. e. last-d eTJl ; !!• mmeruQuii KaUa^p^j, i. fi. ths£(-devil 2 
12. t/>tfmiuuQuiu M&ja-pSjy i. e. illitfion-devil ; 13. «<r^u(?uiL/ Kallu<* 
pey, L e. paimwine-devil ; 14. ^mwmLujQuju Sandai-pSj, i. e. strife* 
devil Many more might be mentioned ; focJihfi&e heatheoa specify as 
many dgvils as there are sing^ and name some also after different places ; 
iSitthe above may sufficeT Many stories are related concerning devils^ 
according to which they are able to change their forms at pleasure, and 
do great mischief, more especially when they take possession of men. 
Among the books that treat of devils, those best known are Q^flirwsm^ 
Ystala-kathai, containing stories about familiar spirits, and Mmiri^^ih 
Nilinataka, i. e. the play of the demoness !Nlli. And inasmuch as these 
heathens believe that every sickness and every misfortune is caused by 
devils, they worship the chiefs among them, together with the Gr&madS- 
vatas, in order that they should protect them from their subordinates* 
And when a person is believed to be possessed of a devil, then be is 
brought to the pagoda of a GramadSvata, where the devil is oast out wiA 
many ceremonies.* 

The demons called Bhfltas are represented witl^^sm^, thick bodies, | ^ ( 
of a red color, with pigtails round their heads, horrible faces, a lion's 
teeth in their mouths, and various ornaments all over their bodies. 
They are said to have been created for the purpose of being the servants 
of the gods, and supposed to be quite content and happy in doing the 
lowest services, which is not the case with the Peygel. 

Concerning the Bh^tas a heathen wrote as follows : ^' The Bhltas were 
created in an enormous number, when Subbramanya made war witii the 
giant S5ra, who had abused his power aT^ng of the fourteen worlds, 
ui^ was therefore destroyed by Subhramanya, and his army, which c(mi« 
prised aU Uie BhtLtas, together with the 100,000 great heroes and their 
nine generals, and all the gods, 380,000,000 in number, so that on their 
march the seven oceans were emptkd, the sun and moon covered with 
dust, and the stars appear to be pearls on their heads. And because the 
oceans were dried up, the king of the oceans complained to Subhramanya, 
whereupon the generalissimo of the enormous army gave orders that 
all should pass urine, by which the seven oceans became again full. 
In the batde itself, the BhStas, forming Uie vanguard, paved the way 
by slinging mountains against the enemy, and did thereby terrible ex- 

After this war, which ended in the thorough defeat of SHra and his 
host, the Bh^tas were taken into the service of the gods ; and a certain 
number of them was allotted to Ayenar and the other Gramadevatas, to 
assist them in ruling the devils, and to execute all their orders concern- 
ing wicked men who are to be tormented. 

Regarding the origin of the giants called gitrirC^^n Kakshasas, these 
heathens bave likewise different opinions ; some say that they were on-* 

* At regards the manner in which this is done; see the appendix to part III. 


ghiallj created as such ; whilst others maintain that they were once 
good creatures, who, however, became proud, and were therefore cursed 
to be monsters, such as the Bikshasas are said to be. The most cele- 
brated among them is giffir^essrm Ravana, the king of Ceylon or Lanka* 
He had ten heads, but is, for the sake of symmetry, usually repre- 
sented with nine only, among which the one in the midst is greatest 
On every one of his heads he has a crown ; on every one of his 
foreheads, a sti*eak of sacred ashes, and in every one of his mouths, a 
lion's teeth. He has twenty arms and hands, in which he holds different 
weapons, which he received from Isvara because of his severe penance. 
He sits on an exalted throne, and has his whole body decorated with 
jewels* His two brothers, ^u>usffmter Kumbhakarma and eQiSt^aaim 
Vibhishana, are abo famous. The former is said to have been a gtetX 
sleeper ; he awoke only once in a year, when he ate, and fought, and 
killed an enemy. His exploits in the war with Rama are described in 
the book named (^thuaffearuL^eou) Kumbhakarna-patala. As to Vibhls- 
faana, he sided with Rama, and was therefore made king of Lanka after 
Ravana's defeat and death. Another famous and very cruel giant was 
ean^^am Bana-asura. He is said to have had 1000 heads and 2000 
arms, but usually he is represented only with one head and two arms. 
Also giire£iudr Hiranya, of whom we have heard something in connec- 
tion with Vishnu's Narasinha-avat3,ra, was one of those mighty giants, 
who, having done severe penance, received exceedingly powerful weapons^ 
which they used for tyrannical purposes. And though all the giants are 
said to have been extirpated by Vishnu, their spirits afe supposed still 
to haunt this world. 

Concerning them a heathen wrote as follows : '^ The principal ones 
among the giants called Rakshasas are Ravana, his two brothers Eum- 
bhakarna and Vibhishana, and his son Indrajit. Ravana received from 
Isvara, as a reward for his severe penance, great power and a splendid 
city, named gicoitairLfiB Lankapuri (in Ceylon), which was 700 leagues 
in circumference, but is now covered by the sea. Subsequently he be- 
came very proud and tyrannical, forcing even the gods and Risbis to do 
him menial services. But ultimately he was destroyed by Rama, whose 
wife Sita he had carried off. When the monkey Hanuman, who was 
sent out to seek her, came to Lankapuri, where she was in captivity, he 
uprooted all trees in Ravana's beautiful garden ; whereupon Indrajit 
captured him and brought him before Ravana, who, in order to punish 
him, commanded that his tail should be surrounded with cloth, dipped 
into oil, and then kindled. This was done, but Hanuman took revenge bj 
setting fire to the whole city, by which it was reduced to ashes. After 
this Rama himself came and destroyed Ravana and his whde race with 
the exception of Vibhishana, who had urged his brother to give up Sita, 
and, when his advice was rejected, went over to Rama, for which Rama 
rewarded him by making him king in the room of his brother." 

As regards the other kind of giants called Asuras, they are said to have 
descended from Easyapa, the father of Jndra, and the Devas or demi-gods, 


and a great giantess called Mahamaya ( great illusion).* Thej are very 
much like the Rakshasas and represented in the same manner. Regard- 
ing them a heathen wrote : " The Asuras were called into existence by 
Isvara for the purpose of punishing the gods for their slighting him at 
the sacrifice of Daksha. He pronounced a curse, according to which 
there was to originate a giantess called ui£Sfru>nes>iu MahaniEya (great 
illusion), from whom should spring a race of giants called Asuras (non- 
gods), who should torment the gods and Rishis for a period of many 
thousand years. Accordingly, a great giantess, called Mali&may a, origin- 
ated, and by her union with the Rishi Kasyapa, the father of Devendra, 
the king of the gods, the great giant Surapaidma originated, and after- 
wards also Sinhamukhasura, a giant, with a lion's face, and 1000 heada 
and 2000 hands, and TaraklUura, with an elephant's head. SOrapadma 
being desirous of great power, did, together with his brothers, severe 
penance for several thousaind years, in consequence of which he became 
king over all the fourteen worlds for 108 ages, during which time hi^ 
race increased exceedingly, and used all the gods, Rishis, and kings very 
badly. But at last Devendra and the rest of the gods did severe penance, 
by which they obtained from Isvara the promise that he would extirpate 
Surapadma and his race, which he then also did through his son Su- 

Another wrote : " The Asuras, void of compassion, mercy, love, and 
humility, were very cruel, wicked, haughty, passionate, hurtful, and 
of an enormous size. But they are now altogether extirpated, so that 
there is not one of them left." Notwithstanding this, these heathens 
believe that they haunt still this world as spirits or ghosts, being bent 
upon doing mischief. Therefore, when they make a sacrifice, they invoke 
the regents of the eight corners of the earth to prevent them from coming 
near ; and in like manner, they ask the Gramadevatas to protect them 
not only from the devils, but also from the spirits of the giants. 

* Kas3rapa, one of the seven great Bishis^ married^ according to various writings^ 
^wo daughters of Daksha^ named Dita aud AditL From the former one the Asuras^ 
also called Daityas or Danavas, are said to have proceeded ; and from the latter ; the 
Dgvas ; and these two races were nearly always at war with each other. Bat 
accordiag to the Vishnu-Purana, the origin of the Asuras is as follows : "Brahma 
being desirous of creating the four orders of beings, termed gods, demons, .progeni- 
tors and men, collected his mind into itself. Whi&t thus concentrated, the quality of 
darkness pervaded his body ; and then the demons (called Asuras) were born, issu- 
ing from his thigh." 

^1- ■■ . •■ 


^ .-.' '; 



■.-• — 










( Extracted ftoiii the Rer. Dk. GtldweU*i ''TioneveUyBhaoan.") 

'* It does not throw much light upon the Sh&n&r religion to desoribe it 
as a form of Hinduism, It is no doabt equaUj deterring of the name 
with most of the religions of India ; but as those religions are not ofily 
multiform, but mutually opposed, the use of the common term ^' Hindu- 
ism" is liable to mislead. It is true that certain general theosophic ideis 
are supposed to perrade all the Hindu systems, and that theoretical unity 
is said to lurk beneath practical diversity. But this representatioo, 
though in some degree correct, is strictly applicable only to the mysticd 
or metaphysical systems. Practically, the Hindu religions have few ideas 
and but few practices in common ; and the vast majority of their votaries 
would be indignant at the supposition that their own religion, and the 
detested heresy of their opponents, are after all one and the same. Be 
this as it may, Missionaries have to deal, not with philosophical analogies 
or dead antiquities, but with the living and active religions of the hea- 
then world. Their business is with the superstitions and practices (& the 
heathen amongst whom they live, and with the opinions and local legends 
on which those superstitions are founded, according to the statement of 
the people themselves. Acting on this principle, Missionaries cannot 
consider Hinduism as one homogenous religion* ^he t erm ** Hinduis BU** 

like the geographical term '^ India," is fL^Entp pe an gyerad ization uo<« 
-h"C!rr-P ^^ tihft Hi"*^"" The Hindus themselves call theiflreligions by 
the name of the par^ular deity they worship, as *^ Swa^'bhakH^ ** Fisknu' 
bhahti,** t he. The only exceptions are in the case of some of ^tte nn* 
Brahmanical classes, such as the Shanars, who^ though they hold a 

* The Shanars, a numerous tribe in the sonthem-knost part of India, worship (as 
heathens) hardly any being besides the GramadSvatas and the Demons assoc&cted 
with them ( wherefore a sketch of their religion, drawn by the Ber. Dr. Caldwi^ 
the learned author of a ** Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian 
Family of Languages/ ' is thought to be a yery appropriate appendix to Ziegenbal^s 
account of the Gramadivatas and Demons in this Genealogy of the South-Indian 

The Shanars are, for the greater part, engaged in cnltiyating and climbing the 
palmyra palm, the juice of which they boil into a coarse sugar ; and whilst a con- 
siderable number of them haye become cnltiyators of the ground, either as land- 
owners, or as farmers, there are others who support themselves by ta&de. But what 
makes the Shanars most interesting is the fact of their being the tribe that, of all 
Indian tribes, numbers most converts to Christianity ; for no less than about 80,000 
of them profess now the Protestant Christian religion. 

f Bhakti means devotion or faith. 




differeat faitb, have not philosophy enough to invent a distinctiire name 
for it. Europeans popularly imagine that the temples and images and 
processions which they so frequently see belong to one and the same sys- 
tem. But the fact is that in certain cases they belong to totally different 
religions ; and the deities that preside over each religion are, in the 
estimation of the votaries of the rival divinity, emanations of the princi- 
ple of evil| beings who are and ever have been at war with the true 
deity, or are at best his unwilling servabts, and whose worship is sin. 
It may be allowed to be abstractly probable that most of the religions of 
India have sprang from a common orgin. And occasionally we meet 
with a wandering devotee or book-learned mystic who asserts that all 
deities, whether Brahmanical or not, are one ; that is, as he appears to 
understand it, all are alike objectively unreal. But such ideas obtain 
little sympathy amongst the people at large, whose religion is one>f ob- 
servances and distinctive signs, and with whom the beauty of an observ- 
ance is its restriction to a particular locality and its contrariety to rival 
observances. I have thought it necessary to make this preliminary 
observation, because manv seem to Jmagiue that the nations o fjndi a 
possess but one religion';' that the character of the various Hindu'races, 
their snpersfifions'and prejudices, are every where the same ; that the 
best way to propagate Christianity in one part of India must be the best 
way every where ; and that the Missionary has every where the same argu- 
ments to refute, and the same diificulties to encounter. Many a person who 
has derived his ideas of Hinduism from some particular school of Hindu 
metaphysics, or from the doctrines and rites considered as orthodox in a 
particular locality, has imagined himself acquainted with the whole sub- 
ject ; whereas he has become acquainted with only^Ti&4)hase^Hin- 
luismj and in other parts of India, amongst races of a different origin 
and speaking a different tongue, would probably find the same system 
either quite unknown, or considered heretical. For instance, who has 
not heard of Vedantism ? and what Missionary coming out to India 
has not felt some misgivings- as to the result of his first controversy 
with Vedantist Brahmans ? Yet in Tinnevelly, amongst a population of 
more than 800,000 souls, I think I may assert with safety that there are 
not to be found eight individuals who know so much of Vedantism as may 
be picked up by an European student in an hour from the persual of any 
European tractate on the subject. And though I have no doubt but that 
some persons may be foimd in Tinnevelly who profess the system, I have 
not yet myself met with, or heard of a single person who is supposed to 
profess it as a whole^ much less understand it. On the other hand there 
are certain facts and truths proper to Christianity, such as the doctrine of 
our redemption by sacrifice, which are peculiarly offensive to some of the 
Brahmanical sects, and are supposed to be offensive to the Hindu mind 
every where, but which convey no offence in Tinnevelly ; where the 
shedding of blood in sacrifice and the substitution of life for llfe^ are ideas 
with which the people are familiar." 


** It is neeessary to remember that many ^contradictory ereed^are de* 
noted by the common term Hinduism, in order to understand the ireligioos 
condition of the lower castes in Tinnevelly. The Shanars, though not of 
theBrahmanical or Sanscrit-speaking race, are as truly Hindtisas are any 
class in India. Nevertheless their connection with the Brahmanical sys- 
tems of dogmas and observances, commonly described in the mass as 
Hinduism, is so small that they may be considered as votaries of a differ- 
ent religion. It may be true that the Brahmans have reserved a place 
in their Pantheon, or Pandemonium, for local divinities and even for 
aboriginal demons ; but in this the policy of conquerors is exemplified, 
rather than the discrimination of philosophers, or the exclusiveness of 
honest believers." 

'* I shall now endeavour to illustrate the religious condition of the Sha- 
nars by giving some account of their creed and observances." 

1. The Shanar Ideas respecting the Divine Being. 

^* It is not easy to determine whether it is part of their religious system, 
or not, to believe that there is a God, the creator of all things and the 
ruler of the world. I think the most that can be said is, that there are 
traces amongst them of a vague, traditionary belief in the existence of 
God. Christianity has been embraced by so many persons of this class, 
and has become so extensively known, that unmixed, unmodified hea- 
thenism can now rarely be met with amongst them. When Christians 
and heathens live together in the same village, and the children of both 
classes attend the same school, Christian expressions and even Chi-istian 
ideas become common property. The names, titles, and attributes of 
God, of which Christians are accustomed to speak, are not unfrequently 
transferred to the use of some heathen divinity, or some old, indistinct 
abstraction ; and on entering into conversation with the more intelli- 
gent and less bigoted heathens, you will find them representing, as 
entertained and confessed by every one naturally, truths which they 
themselves or their parents learned from their Christian neighbours. 
Hence, though almost every Shanar you meet will more or less explicit- 
ly acknowledge the existence of one supreme Grod and his creation and 
cognizance of all things, it may justly be afiirraed that this acknowledg- 
ment springs from the silent influence or implicit reception of the Christian 
truths which have become so widely known. In just the same manner 
some of our Europeans philosophers purloin from Christianity a few 
elementary truths which man's unaided intellect never did or could dis- 
cover, and style them " Natural Religion." 

** It is usless to seek for traces of a belief in the existence of God in the 
literature of the Shanars ; for that, if a few doggerel rhymes deserve the 
name, is either of Brahmanical origin and therefore foreign, or it is con- 
fined to the recital of the praises of demons, the power of incantations 
and the virtues of medicines." 


'< In selurohing for traces of an original belief in the existence of God, 
the only information I could obtain was found in the unprompted talk 
of old people in villages into which Christianity has not penetrated. The 
ti*aces I have observed are such as follows. In their appeals to God, as 
knowing the truth of what they say, and in proverbial expressions, the 
term by which God is generally denoted signifies neither a particular 
divinity, nor a demon, but is a common term signifying ^' Ruler*' or 
" Lord ;" and if you ask who this Lord is, or what is his name, they 
seem puzzled to know what to reply. Again, when sudden punishment 
overtakes a wicked man, it is generally attributed not to a devil, or to 
any divinity bearing a proper name, but to " the Lord." Monstrous 
births and prodigies are also ascribed to his will, with an implied, but so 
far as I know, unexpressed acknowledgment that he is also the author 
of the ordinary course of nature. When a child dies, they' may some- 
times be heard abusing him whom they call " Ruler" and " Lord" for his 
want of mercy or blindness in slaying their child ; and hence it may be 
supposed, by a charitable construction, that they consider him as the 
author of life. These scanty facts exhibit the only traces I have met 
with of a belief in the existence of God, apart from Brahmanical legends, 
and the influence of Christianity. Wherever Christianity has been in- 
troduced, this so important article of belief becomes speedily a settled 
element in even the heathen's creed. The mind, nofpre-occupied by an 
opposing tradition, at once gives its assent to a doctrine so pre-eminently 
reasonable. When he has to choose between the creation of the world 
by a supreme mind and its uncaused eternal existence, even the untu- 
tored Shanar does not hesitate long." 

. '* The Shanars nominally acknowledge as deities some of the most 
renowned of the gods of the Brahmanical mythologies ; but generally 
speaking they know only their names, and a few popular myths in which 
they figure as heroes. And, with the exception of one solitary case, I 
have not discovered the least vestige of their acquaintance with the 
Pantheistic notion, so popular with the Tamil poets, that God is an all- 
pervading essence without qualities or acts." 

" Notwithstanding their traditional use of the name of one God, it 
may be asserted that, practically, the Shanars are destitute of the belief 
in God's existence, and that their only real faith is in demonolatry. 
They do not seem to have received from their fathers any distinct tra- 
dition of God's creation of the world or government of it. They make 
no allusion to His Omniscience, except for confirmation ''for an oath 
is an end of all strife." They are never heard to ** speak of His 
wondrous works, or of the glorious honor of His Majesty." Literally, 
they are "without God in the world." This beautiful world, so full of 
divine philosophy, is to them a mere mass of dead matter, without a 
mind or a heart." 

Hence it is that when heathen Shanars come in contact with Chris- 
tians, the doctrine of the real existence of a Supreme Being and His 
actual superintendence of the world, is one of the first things which 


strike them with surprise. It sounds new in their ears ; but Aey rarely 
oppose it, and generally, as has been said, learn to appropriate it. 
Hence also the line of argument frequently adopted by unlettered Na- 
tive Christians in their intercourse with heathens, which at first sight 
seems so illogical, has some practical force in it, considering the persons 
to whom it is addressed. Their argument is after this sort : — there is a 
God, and all things have been made by God, and therefore the Chris- 
tian religion is the only true one. I have often been present when this 
argument was'used ; and the heathens seemed as much puzzled for aa 
answer, as the^Christian was triumphant." 

2. — The Shanab Ideas bespecting a Futubb State. 

^ It* sometimes happens, however inconsistently, that heathen tribes 
who are ignorant of the existence of a great First Cause, or imperfectly 
persuaded of His existence, believe in the life of the soul after death. 
But in the case of the Shanars I have not observed this inconsistency. So 
far as I have been able to learn, it does not appear to me that betief in 
the conscious existence of every human soul after death, much less be- 
lief in a state of rewards and punishments hereafter, forms any part of 
the Shanar creed. The only thing bordering upon this belief which I 
have noticed is the popular superstition upon which demonolatry is 
founded. When a person has died a sudden, untimely, or violent death, 
especially if he had been remarkable for crimes or violence of temper in 
his Hfe time, it is frequently supposed that his spirit haunts the place 
where his body lies, or wanders to and fro in the neighbourhood. If 
this spirit were simply supposed to be the soul or desembodied mind of 
the deceased, without any material alteration in its attributes, the idea 
would clearly correspond with the European superstition respecting 
ghosts, a superstition founded on the Christian doctrine of the immorta- 
lity of the soul. But in the Shanar creed the annihilation of the soul 
or thinking principle, when the body dies, is the general rule, and 
its transformation into a ghost is only an occasional exception, limited 
to particular cases ; and besides, the Shanar spirit is not so much con- 
sidered the ghost of the deceased as a newlv-bOTiT^emSaTan^iKrSli^ 
tion and amplification of "the bad features of the deceased person's cha- 
racter, a gobBri which, with'Ibe acquisition of superhuman power, has 
acquired super-human malignity. This belief sometimes takes the more 
Brahmanicskl shap6 of a re-iSdl!iation and spiritualization of the dead 
body itself by a demon ; but in its purely Shanar form it may be con- 
sidered as leading to the supposition that the Shanars originidly pos- 
sessed some obscure notions respecting the separate existence of the sod 
after death, of which this is the only remaining trace. They have, it is 
true, a primitive Tamil word denoting " a spirit" or ghost ; but the word 
which denotes the soul, according to the Christian or philosophical 
meaning of the term, is a Sanscrit one, belonging consequently to the 
terminology of the different religion ; and that word is little if at all used 


or known, except by those who are familar with the phraseology adopt- 
ed by Chridtians*" 

" Through the prevalence of BrahmUnical ideas and rites amongst 
the higher classes of the Tamil people, and the partial imitation of the 
usages of those classes by the wealthier Shanars, a few things are occa- 
sionally observed which might be mistaken for traces of a belief in the 
immortality of the soal. For instance, the ceremonies performed in behalf 
of the dead are connected with the belief in their continued existence. 
But such ceremonies ai^ performed only by a few of the more aspiring 
Shanars, who like to imitate the manners of the higher castes ; and the 
Brahmanical origin of the ceremonies themselves is historically known. 
Again, some of the wealthier and more educated Shanars may appear 
to hold the Brahmanical doctrine of the transmigration of souls ; but 
their belief in it is merely' nominal, and only exhibited in half-ear- 
nest. For instance, when a man is about to utter an enormous lie, he 
will say with a knowing look, '^ if what I am going to tell be not ti*ue, 
may 1 be born a maggot." The belief goes no further ; and expressions 
of this kind are not heard amongst the mass of unchanged, unsophisti- 
cated Shanars, whose ideas of the existence of the soul after death have 
not taken even so crude a shape* In so far, therefore, as the psycholo- 
gy of the Shanars can be ascertained, it may be asserted as their opinion 
that in all ordinary cases when a man dies, he has ceased to be : there 
is an end of his hopes and fears ; and every thing that he was is dissi^ 
[Hited in the smoke of his incremation, or resolved into the earth in 
which he is laid." 

** The consequences of obliterating the doctrine of a future state from 
the creed, of reducing man to a merely material condition, and pre- 
cluding the belief of his being called to account for his actions hereafter, 
may readily be conceived by the Christian mind." 

''So common and so deeply rooted amongst the Shanars is the persua- 
sion that at death the whole of man dies, that it is one of the most se- 
rious obstacles in the way of their sincere reception and consistent pro- 
fession of Christianity, and their growth in grace ; and not unfVe- 
qaently when their faith is tried by some unusual disappointment 
or calamity, and found wanting, this hereditary materialism proves 
tlie cause of their relapse into demonolatry. To every consoling argu- 
ment they mutter in reply ; *' who has seen heaven f who has seen 
hell ?"* 

3.— The Shanab Worship of Devils. 

'' Hitherto the mind of the Shanars has a.ppeared to be a dreary void, 

* The above was printed in 1849. To judge from a sermon preached by 
Dr. Caldwell in 1866 about " Christianity in India and Indian Missions," the 
spiritual condition of the Shanar Christians has been greatly improved since, 
and is daily improying under the influence of the Word of God. (Translator). 



/ i 


ft desert in which no Irftce of religions ideas is found. I Imve now to 
show how this desert has been peopled by a gloomy imagination with 
visions of goblins and demons.'' 

** When Missionaries allude to the devil*worship prevalent in Tinne- 
velly, some persons seem to suppose that by the term ** devils" we 
mean the gods worshipped by the people ; and that we style them '* de- 
vib" because their claims are opposed to those of the true God ; and 
because fallen spirits are supposed to have been the inventors of the re- 
ligions of the heathen world. It is thought that we use the term in a 
controversial sense ; and I have known our use of it attributed to reli* 
gious rancour and construed into an intentional insult to the people. 
But the fact is, that in describing the positive portion of the religion of 
the Shanars as devil-worship, the word used is not only the most ap- 
propriate one we know, but it exactly corresponds with the term used 
by the Shanars themselves. In so far as they recognize jtheexistence 
of God, they appear to consider Him as good and just ^ and as there 
are some good points in the character of most of the Brabmanical dei- 
"lies, they ^tylfe them also good spirits^ or gods. But the demons wor- 
ifaipped "by Themselves and their forefathers are con8i3ereJjtonSe*being8 
of unmixed malignity — bonajide fiends ; and^ it is supposed to_biB^ ne- 
cessary to worship them simply and solely because they a re ma lignant 
Cfenseqiiinlly, demonolatry, or devil-worship, is the only tierm by which 
the religion of the Shanars can be accurately described. Whatever 
belief any of them may have in the existence of God, they appear to 
think that, being good. He does not need to be appeased ; and even 
such of the Erahmanical deities as have obtained a place in their esteem 
are honored merelj^ with an annual festival and the compliment of a 
passins bow. But their own devils, being spirits of a very different 
temper, jealous, watchful,^ and vindictive, are worshipped with the ear- 
'^estfresf 'StUtt'BSsidtrily of a real belief The Shanars, especially the more 
wealthy of them, have no objection to be considered worshippers ofiJho 
gods ofthe Brahmansnjn high days and holidays. T he worship o f 
SiiBinftlimanya, the second son of Siva, having been popular^ in Fe- 
nlnsuKr 'IridiaTrom an early period, the majority of the Shanars sym- 
bolize with the higher castes by attending the annual festival to his 
honor at Trichendoor. Sasta also, the Hari-hara-putra of^ the Brah- 
iQanSx and rather a demon-king than a divinity, being guardian of 
boundaries and protector of paddy-fields, is wprship^gedLjt9_j|_ consi- 
derable extent in his official relations." "But in those extensive tracts 
of counfry where the Shanars form the bulk of the population, and the 
cultivation of the palmyra is the ordinary employment of the people, 
the Brabmanical deities rarely receive any notice ; and the appearance 
on the foreheads of a few of the more devout, or of the wealthier class, 
of a streak of holy ashes, the distinctive mark of Sivism, is the onlj 
trace or sign of the influence of legitimate Brahmanism which one can 
see. Demonism in one shape or another may be said to rule the Sha- 
nars with undisputed authority. The worship of their own demons 


forms the religion not of a passing holiday only, but of their every-day 
lite; and is that which governs their minds, sways their wills, and in- 
fluences their characters, and to which they invariably flee in sickness 
and loss.'* 

" A few of the demons are forms of Kali, connected with a debased and 
comparatively modern development of the Brahmanicnl system itself ; 
and, as such, tbey are known by a different name, *' Ammen," or mo- 
ther ;* and their worship is marked by some distinctive peculiarities. It 
is performed not by every one who pleases, as devil-worship is, but by 
a particular class of Sudra priests. A large majority however of the 
devils are of purely Shanar or Tamil origin, and totally unconnected 
with Brahmanism.'' 

" I shall now mention some particulars illustrative of the opinions en- 
tertained respecting these demons and the pecularities of their worsliip, 
as it exists at present. I sh^l not attempt to enter upon a minule 
description of the system, or exemplify it by specific illustrations ; but 
shall confine myself to the more general object of furnishing the reader 
with a sketch of its salient points and more prominent characteristics^ 
and helping him to form an estimate of its tendencies and effects. My 
description will therefore apply rather to the genus ^* demon*' than to 
any demon in particular — rather to the points in which ail diabolical 
rites agree than to local or incidental varieties." 

" As has already been mentioned, tlj^e iqajority .pf the devil^ fire sup- 
posed to have originally been huwai^-.beiftgg ; and the class of persons 
most tr'equenlly supposed to have been transformed into devils are those 
who had met with a sudde n or violent death, especially if they had 
made themselves dreaded i rPlheir Hie ' ttoe. Devils may in conse- 
quence be either male or female, of low or high caste, of Hindu or 
foreign lineage. Their character and mode of life seem to be little if at 
all modified by differences of this nature. All are powerful, malicious, 
and interfering ; and all are desirous of bloody sacrifices and frantic 
d ances. The only differences apparent are m the structui^ of the tem- 
ple orlmage built to their honor, the insignia worn by their priests, the 
minutiae of the ceremonies observed in their worship, the preference of 
the sacrifice of a goat by one, a hog by another, and a cock by a third, 
or in the addition of libations of ardent spirits for which Pariar demons 
stipulate. As for their abode, t he majo rity of the devils are supposed 
to dw ell in trees ; some wander" to and^Tro, ' S.nd^' go Up an3 down, 
in uriih h&bi ted " wastes : some skulk in shady retreats. Sometimes 
they take up their abode in houses ; and it often happens thai a devil 
will take a fancy to dispossess the soul and inhabit the body of one of 
bb votaries ; in which case the personal consciousness of the possessed 

* These " Ammens" are the Gramadevatas, who are rappofled io rule ag 
qneeos over the devils, and are worshipped not only by the Shanars, but also 
by people of other castes, and occasionally even by Brahmans. Se« Ziegen- 
balg's account of th«m in Part iii. 


party ceases, and the soreatniog, gesticulating, and pythoniztng are sup- 
posed to be the demon's acts.'' 

** £verj malady however trivial is supposed by the more superstitious 
to be inflicted by a devil, and a sacrifice is necessary for its removal ; 
but the unusual severity or continuance of any disease, or the appearance 
of sjrmptoms which are not recorded in the physician's Sastra, are proofs 
of possession of which no Shanar can entertain any doubt. The medical 
science of so rude a people not being very extensive, cases of unques- 
tionable possession are of frequent occurrence. When a woman is heard 
to laugh and weep alternately, without any adequate cause, or shriek 
and look wild when no snake or wild beast can be perceived, what Sha- 
nar can suppose any thing but a devil to be the cause of the mischief? 
The native doctor, himself a Shanar, is sent for to give his advice. He 
brings his library with him, (he can't read, but it is all safe in his me- 
mory,) — his " complete science of medicine in one hundred stanzas, as 
revealed by the sage Agastya to his disciple Pulastya ; but in vain be 
recites his prescriptions, in vain he coins hard words. As no descrip- 
tion of hysterical complaints is contained in his authorities, what cao he 
do but decide that a devil has taken possession of the woman, and re- 
commend that a sacrifice be offered to him forthwith, with a cloth and 
a white fowl to the doctor ? ^ Sometimes the possession takes the shape 
of a stroke of the sun, epilepsy or catalepsy, a sudden fright, mania, or 
the vertigo and stupor caused by an overflow of bile. But any ordinary 
disease, when it seems incujrable, and the patient begins to waste away, 
is pronounced a possession." . 

" Sometimes the friends are not desirous of expelling the evil spirit all 
at once, but send for music, get up a devil-dance, and call upon the de- 
mon to prophesy. This 'is particularly the case when some member of 
the family has long been sick, and they are anxious to know what is to 
be the result of the sickness, and are wishing and waiting for a demon's 

** If they desire to expel the devil, there is no lack of moving ceremo- 
nies and powerful incantations, each of which has been tried and found 
successful innumerable times. If the devil should prove an obstinate 
one and refuse to leave, charm they never so wisely, his retreat may ge- 
nerally be hastened by the vigorous application of a slipper or a broom 
to the shoulders of the possessed person, the operator taking care to use 
at the same time tl»e most scurrilous language he can think of. After a 
time the demoniac loses his downcast, sullen look. He begins tojget 
anory and writhe about under the slippering, and at length cries, ** I 
go, I go." They then ask him his name, and why he came there, jle 
tells them he is such and such a devil, whom they have ne glegted^ev er 
so long, and he wants an offering ; or he calls himself b y the name of 
some'Heceased relative, who, as they now learn' for the fir st time, h as 
become a demon. As soon as the demon consents to leave, the beat- 
ing ceases ; and not unfrequently immediate preparations are made 
for a sacrifice, as a compensation to his feelings for the ignominy of 


the exoreism* The possessed person now awakes as from a sleep, and 
appears to have no knowledge of any thing that has happened." 

" Some of the possessions yield by degrees to moral influences and al- 
teratives ; but in the majority of cases the most effectual exorcism is— • 
tartar emetic, though I do not say that real demoniacal possessions never 
occur in heathen countries where Satan rules without opp<jeition." 

" The demons especially show their power in cases of possession ; but 
they are frequently contented with inflicting minor injuries. Not only 
the failure of rain, or a blight falling on the crops, but even the acci- 
dents and diseases which befal cattle, and trivial losses in trade, are 
considered instances of a devil's malevolence. Sometimes, again, de- 
mons are content with frightening the timid, without doing any real 
harm. People hear a strange noise at night ; and immediately they 
see a devil making his escape in the shape of a dog as large as a hyena, 
or a' cat with eyes like two lamps. In the dusk of the evening devils 
have been observed in a burial or burning ground, assuming various 
shapes one after another as often as the eye of the observer is turned 
away ; and they have often been known at night to ride across the 
country on invisiblehorses, or glide over marshy lands' fn'the shajfe 
of aTwandering, flickering' light. In all their journeyings they move 
along without touching the ground ; their elevation above the ground 
being proportioned to their rank and importance. I have known a 
village deserted and the people afraid even to remove the materials 
of their houses, in consequence of the terror caused by stones being 
thrown on their roofs at night by invisible hands. Demons more malici- 
ous still have sometimes been known under cover of the night to insert 
eomhostible materials under the eaves of thatched roofs. Even in the 
day time, about the close of the hot season, when the winds fail, they 
may often be seen careering along in the shape of a whirl-wind, catch- 
ing up and whisking about in their fierce play every dry stick and leaf 
that happens to lie in their path. In^short, the demons do much evil, 
but no good . They often cause terror TTuf never bestow benefits, or 
evmce any affection for their votaries. They must be placated by sa- 
crifice because they are so mischievous ; but there is no use supplicat- 
ing their favour. If in any case the hope of obtaining a benefit seem 
to be their votary's motive in worshipping them, further inquiry proves 
that it is under the supposition that the demon's malignity stands in 
the way of what would otherwise be obtained as a matter of course." 

** Though the Natives, especially the lower classes, regard the demons 
With dread, they think that Europeans haye no reason to fear ; and a 
similar exception is sometimes made in the case of the Mahomedans. 
The god worshipped by the Mahomedans is supposed to be more pow- 
erful than the demons, and able to protect his worshippers from their 
Assaults. As for Europeans, no ono considers that they require any 
kind of protection. On the principle enunciated by Balaam, *' surely 
there is no enchantment against Jacob: neitlier is there any divinar 


tion against I.Hrael," the demonolaters seem to consider European 
Christians as secure from danger. Tiiey suppose them even more tlian 
a match for any of the poor black man's goblins. In consequence of 
this immunity, whilst the servants and followers of a European are ex- 
posed to many alarms, their master neither sees nor hears any thing 
unusual, i hnve henrd of only one case in which the Natives supposed 
that an exception had occurred to this rule of non-interference with Eu- 
ropeans. A Missionary was about to build his house near a place where 
a devil — a Pariar who had met with a violent death — had taken up his 
abode ; and at this, it was said, the devil was highly displeased. Every 
time a heavy shower of rain fell, (for the bungalow was built during the 
monsoon,) it was represented that the devil was endeavouring to des- 
troy the work. And sure enough, the neighbours saw that a great deal 
of damage was done by the rain, and that a great deal of the work was 
destroyed. They saw, however, that the Missionary, nothing daunted, 
built up again what hud fallen, and at length finished his house ; where- 
upon they came to the old conclusion that no demon could cope with a 
European ; and ere long gave it out that the demon in question had re- 
moved nis residence in disgust to another tree. 

"'Tn mosF of the particulars mentioned a similar superstition respecting 
goblins and demons will be found to exist all over India. Every Hindu 
work containing allusions to Native life, and the Dictionaries of all the 
Hindu dialects, prove the general prevalence of a belief in the existence 
of malicious or mischievous demons, in demoniacal inflictions and pos- 
sessroris, and in the power of exorcisms. The chief peculiarity of the 
superstition, as it exists amongst the Shanars, consists in their sy sterna' 
tic worship of the demons in which all believe. In every part of India 
innumerable legends respecting goblins and their malice are current; 
but scarcely any trace of their worship in the proper sense of the term, 
much less of their exclusive worship, can be discovered beyond the dis- 
tricts in which Shanars, or other primitive illiterate tribes, are found. 
In travelling down to Tinnevelly from the north, the first village which 
is found to be Inhabited by Shanars, Virduputty, about 30 miles south 
of Madura, is the first place where I have observed systematic devil- 
worship. In like manner in Travancore, devil-worship appears to com- 
mence with the first appearance of the Shanar caste in the neighbour- 
hood of Trlvandrum ; from whence it becomes more and more prevalent 
as you approach Cape Gomorin. This superstition respecting demons, 
in whatever form and under whatever modifications it may appear, is 
found to be productive of evil ; but it was reserved for the Shanars and 
a few other illiterate tribes to exemplify the debasing effect of it in its 
fullest extent by their worship of demons, a degradation beneath which 
the human mind cannot descend." 

" The places in which the demons are worshipped are commonly term- 
ed " Pe-coils," or devil temples ; but let no one suppose from the 
use of the word ** temple" that the building possesses any architectu- 
ral pretensions, or inquire to what order or style it belongs. Some of 


the temples, especially those erected to the sanguinary forms of Kali,* 
are small, mean, tomblike buildings, with an image at the further end of 
the cloister. But the majority of the devil-temples are of a still more 
primitive construction. The walls are built neither with stone nor 
brick ; the roof is neither terraced nor tiled nor e\en thatched ; and they 
have neither porches nor penetralia. A heap of ea rth raised into a 
py ramidical shape ai»d adorned with streaks of w hi te-wa3li78ome times 
^i^I^iioSj^AUL red^ocKf e^^cqnsti tu tes^ i n tFe majority of case8,"^()tH the 
temple and the 4^mo»'a imaga^ and a smaller heap in front of the tem- 
pl ^with a flat s urface forms the altar. Tii jiuch" c ases a large conspicu- 
ous tree— a tamarind, an umbrella tree, or even a paTmyra w'Kose leaves^ 
have never been cut or trimmed, — will generally be observed in the 
vicinity. This tree is supposed to be tlie devil's ordinary dwelling place, 
fr om whic h he snuSs up. the odour of the sacrificial blood and descends 
unseen tcTjoin in the fea§t. The devil-pyramid is sometimes built of 
bricElirid 'stuccoed over ; and when thus built of coherent materials it 
rises into something of the shape of an obelisk. So far as I have seen, 
the angles of the pyramid are made to correspond with the cardinal 
points. Its height rarely exceeds eight feet and is generally less than 
five. This pyramidal obelisk is a distinguishing characteristic of devil- 
worship, and appears to have no counterpart in Brahmanism or any other 
Mm in India. I have often wished to discover what was supposed to be 
signified by this peculiar style of image ; but never met with any one 
who could give me any information." 

** Sometimes the worshippers goto the expense of building walls and a 
roof for the permanent accommodation of their demon, with a porch for 
the musicians. The devil in this case being of Brnhmanical lineage, 
they generally erect an image to his honor, in imitation of their Brah- 
manical 'neighbours. Such images generally accord with those mon- 
strous figures with which all over India orthodox Hindus depict the 
enemies of their eods, or the terrific forms of Siva or Durga. They are 
generally made of earthen-ware, painted white to look horrible in Hindu 
..ejes; With numerous up- raised hands ana instrutnents of torture and 
de atli in eac h, and the representatioiT of Infants crushed between their 
teem ; or with bufialo-heads and huge prickly clubs. In every such case 
the artist borrows his realization of the fiend's character from images in- 
vented and patronized by the meek Brahmans themselves. In the wor- 
ship of the aboriginal Shanar devils, the pyramid I have mentioned is 
the nearest approach to an image which I have observed. It is worthy 
of remark that every word which denotes an image is of Sanscrit origin, 
and, as such, must have been introduced by the Brahmans.'* 

" There are two particulars connected with devil-worship, both of 
which are essential features of the system, namely, devil-dancing and 
the offering of bloody sacrifices, and which require to be noticed at 

* These sanguinary forms of Ealior Puivati, Siva's consort, are the so-called Gr:- 


(I.) Devil- Dancing. 

*' Wlien it IS determined to offer a sacrifice to a devil a person is ap- 
pointed to act the part of priest. Devil-worship is not, like the wor- 
ship of the deities, whether supreme or subordinate, appropriated to a 
particular order of men, but may be performed by any one who chcjoses. 
This priest is styled a ** devil-dancer." Usually one of the principal 
men of the village officiates ; but sometimes the duty is voluntarily un- 
dertaken by some devotee, male or female, who wishes to gain notoriety, 
or in whom tiie sight of the preparations excites a sudden zeal. The 
officiating priest, whoever he may happen to be, is dressed for the occa- 
sion in the vestments and ornaments appropriate to thenar tTcMnaT^e vil 
"worshipped. Tlie object in view in donning the demon s insignia is to 
Strike terror into the imagination of the beholders. But the party- 
coloured dress and grotesque ornaments, the cap and trident and jing- 
ling bells of the performer, bear so close a resemblance to the usual 
adjuncts of a pantomime that an European would find it difficult to look 
grave. The musical instruments, or rather the instruments of noise, 
chiefiy used in the devil-dance are the tom-tom, or ordinary Indian drum, 
and the horn ; with occasionally the addition of a clarionet when the 
parties can afford it. But the favorite instrument, because the noisiest, 
is that which is called the bow. A series of bells of various sizes is 
fastened to the frame of a gigantic bow ; the strings are tightened so as 
to emit a musical note when struck ; and the bow rests on a large empty 
brazen pot. The instrument is played on by a plectrum, and several 
musicians join in the performance. One strikes the string of the bow 
with the plectrum, another Produces the base by striking the brazen pot 
with his hand, and the third keeps time and improves the harmony by a 
pair of cymbals. As each musician kindles in his work and strives to 
outstrip his neighbour in the rapidity of his flourishes, and in the loud- 
ness of the tone with which he sings the accompaniment, the result is a 
tumult of frightful sounds, such as may be supposed to delight even a 
demon's ear." % 

*^ When the preparations are completed and the devil-dance is about 
to commence, the music is at first comparatively slow, and the dancer 
seems impassive and sullen, and either he stands still, or moves about in 
gloomy silence. Gradually, as the music becomes quicker and louder, 
his excitement begins to rise. Sometimes to help him to work himself 
up into a frenzy he uses medicated draughts, cuts and lacerates his flesh 
till the blood flows, lashes himself with a huge whip, presses a burning 
torch to his breast, drinks the blood which flows from his own wounds, 
or drinks the blood of the sacrifice, putting the throat of the decapitated 
goat to his mouth. Then, as if he had acquired new life, he begins to 
brandish his stafl* of bells and dance with a quick but wild, unsteady 
step. Suddenly the afflatus descends. There is no mistaking about iu 



He is frantic, he leaps, he snorts, he stares, he gyrates. The demon 
-has now taken bod ily possession o f him ; and though he retains the power 
ofutterance and of motion, both are unHer the demon's control, and his 
separate consciousness is in abeyance. The by-standers signalize the 
event by raising a long shout attended with a peculiar vibratory noise, 
caused by the motion of the hand and tongue, or the tongue alone. The 
devil-dancer is now worshipped as a present deity, and every by-stander 
consults him respecting his disease, his wants, the welfare of his absent 
relatives, the offerings to be made for the accomplishment of his wishes, 
and, in short, every thing for which superhuman knowledge is supposed 
to be available. As the devil-dancer acts to admiration the part of a 
maniac, it requires some experience to enable a person to interpret his 
dubious or unmeaning replies — his muttered voices and uncouth gestures ; 
but the wishes of the parties who consult him help them greatly to inter- 
pret his meaning." 

" Sometimes the devil-dance and the demoniacal clairvoyance are ex- 
temporized, especially where the mass of the people are peculiarly ad- 
dicted to devil-worship, and perfectly familiar with the various stages of 
the process. In such cases, if a person happen to feel the commencement 
of the shivering fit of an ague or the vertigo of a bilious headache, his 
untutored imagination teaches him to think himself possessed. He then 
sways his head from side to side, fixes his eyes into a stare, puts himself 
into a posture, and begins the maniac dance 5 and the by-standers run 
for flowers and fruit for an otFering, for a cock or goat to sacrifice to his 

" The night is the time usually devoted to the orgies of devil-dancing. 
And as the number of devils worshipped is in some districts equal to the 
number of the worshippers, and as every act of worship is accompanied 
with the monotonous din of drums and the bray of horns, the stillness of the 
night, especially during the prevalence of Cholera or any other epidemical 
disease, is frequently broken by a dismal uproar, more painful to hear on 
account of the associations connected with it, than on account of its un- 
pleasant effect on the ear and nerves." 

" I have so often made inquiries on this and kindred subjects, and so 
often heard these scenes described by those who had formerly taken part 
in them, that the account I have given, making allowance for local diver- 
sities, is I am sure substantially correct. But I have not myself witness- 
ed these orgies, except from a distance ; nor is it always practicable to 
gain a near view of them, for the presence of a European, by which 
term is meant in these parts a Missionary, is supposed to be a hindrance 
to the performance of the worship. If a Missionary approach, the danc- 
ing instantly ceases, and the demon cannot be prevailed upon to show 
himself. This may partly arise from the idea already referred to, that 
the devil's power is inferior to that of the white man ; but it is perhaps 
mainly the result of an intutive feeling of shame, or, in some instances, of 
the wish to behave politely to a person whom they respect and who is 
known to regard their worship with abhorrence." 



(2.) — Tub Offering of Bloody Sacrifices. 

*' One of the raosfe important parts of the system of devil-worship is the 
offering of goatB, sheep, fowls^ &c., in sacrifice, for the purpose of ap- 
peasing the anger of the demons and inducing them to remove the ca« 
lamities they have inflicted, or abstain from inflicting the calamities 
which they are supposed to have threatened. This is one of the most 
striking points of difference between the demonolatrous system and 
Brahmanistn. It points to a higher antiquity ; and, though now con^ 
nected with a base superstition, is more capable of guiding the mind 
to the reception of Christianity than any thing which Brahmanism 

" Thete is notliing very peculiar in the manner in which the sacrifice 
is performed." 

" The animal which is to be offered in sacrifice is led to the altar of a 
devil-temple adorned with red ochre and garlands of flowers. Ordina- 
rily its head is separated from the body by a single stroke of a billhook, 
the sacrifice being considered unacceptable to the demon if more than 
one blow is required. The decapitated body is then held up so that all 
the blood it contains may flow out upon the demon's altar. The sacrifice 
being now completed the animal is cut up on the spot, made into curry, 
and, with the addition of the boiled rice and fruit offered to the demon on 
the same occasion, forms a sacred meal of which all who have joined in 
the sacrifice receive a share." 

** The sole object of the sacrifice is the removal of the deviFs anger or 
of the calamities which his anger brings down. It should be distinctly 
understood that sacrifices are never^offeredjon account of the ^}nf^ pf th e 
worshippers, and that the devTPs anger is not excited J)y any moral 
bBenceVl'he religion of the Shanars, such as it is, has no connection with 
morals. The most common motive in sacrificing to the devil is that of 
obtaining relief in sickness ; and in that case at least the rationale of the 
rite is sufficiently clear. It consists in offering the demon, life for life- 
blood for blood. The demon thirsts for the life of his votary or for that 
of his child ; and by a little ceremony and show of respect, a little music 
and a little coaxing, he may be prevailed upon to be content with the life of 
a goat instead. Accordingly a goat is sacrificed ; its blood is poured 
out upon the demon's altar, and the offerer goes free." 

**The Shanars have not intellect enough to frame for themselves a 
theory of substitution ; but their practice and their mode of expression 
prove that they consider their sacrifices as substitutions and nothing else. 
And there is abundant reason to believe that at a former period the doc- 
trine of substitution was carried out to the extent of offering human 
sacrifices to the demons — a practice systematically followed to the pre- 
sent day by the Khonds, the most primitive and least Brahmanized 
portion of the aboriginal Tamil race." 


« From the particulars now mentionad H U sufficiently obvious th?^ 
if in some thiogs the Shanars are farther than other Hindus frioin Ctiristi<r 
aaitj, they are in a better porilioa for uudarsUuiding Uie grand Ci»rii»ti«'ii 
doctrine of redemption by sacrifice. It is true that (he pliace of the 
supreme God is supplied by hlood-thirs ty^oiids, and that with the rite of 
saerifice eonfeseion of guilt is not co[\joined« No trace renmins of the 
fate of the victim having been considei*ed a symbol of what the offerer 
himself deserved ; nor consequently is there guy trace of the idea of the 
removal of sin by the saerifice of the substitute ; and of course sacrificial 
rites are never supposed to point to a sacrifice of greater ef&cacy beyond. 
Nevertheless, the fact of the prevalence of bloody sacrifices for the re- 
moval of the anger of superior powers is one of the njost striking in the 
religious condition of the Shanars, and is appealed to by the Christian 
Missionary with tlie best effect. The primitive tradition is sadly dis- 
torted, but some portion of it still remains to bear witness to the truth.'' 

^^ The demonolati*ou3 creed I have now desi^ibed prevails in India 
more extensively, and has probably existed from a higher antiquity, 
than is generally imagined. With some variations it is found in all the 
hill regions and amongst all the semi-civilized or migratory tribes who 
have not yet been enslaved by the higher castes, and completely sub- 
jugated to Brahmanism ; and prevails more or less among the low^„ 
classes throughout India, especially as allied with tlie worship of certain 
iSrms oi Siva's consort. In its most p>imifive shape, never superseded and 
s^roeTy^C^ air*modified, it forms, as has been said, the creed of the 
greater part of Tinnevelly and of the Tamil portion of Travancore, 
wherever Shanars predominate. In all the Mission stations in Tinne- 
velly and South Travancore the Native Christians, with here and there a 
rare exception, were once worshippers of devils." 

'* The Brahmans, and some of the higher castes who have adopted 
th^r prejudices, profess to despise both the devils and their worship, 
and even the woi'ship of the Ammens, and would reckon it an insult 
to be considered capable of condescending to worship a low caste 
demon. But in times of calamity Brahmans do not hesitate to wor- 
yhip th e Ammens ; and have 'even' Been accused of making offer- 
wigs to demons, by stealth, or tlirough the mediation of persons of 
a lower caste." 

^' Emigrants from the Telugujcpuntrj, whp form \ comdjegfthtoppr- 
frn oi the p opljlation of some parts of Tinenj^v^Uyj- haxe generally 
b ecome worahiippers of devils. But the system more usually followed by 
this clasTis'the worship of the satellites of the Brahmanical deities, or 
that of th e fem ale Energies. Such devils, in the proper sense of the 
teStt, as they are found to worship are of Tamil origin, as their names 
denote, and virere probably worshipped at first from a wish to conciliate 
l^e gods of the soil." 

" The Origin op the Shanar Demonolatky lies in the unknown 
depths of antiquity, an antiquity apparently equal to that of the 
worship of the elements or the heavenly bodies. If the allusions con- 


tained in the Vedas to the Tictories gained bj the elementary deities 
over hostile fiends be considered a mythic representation of historical 
facts, the virorship of devils woald seem to have been anterior to tbe 
Vedaic system itself. Of elementary worship there is no trace what- 
ever in the history, language, or usages of any portion of the Tamil peo- 
ple. The emigration of the Brahmans to Peninsular India appears, coo* 
seqnently, to have been subsequent to the first great change in their 
religious system. The religion they introduced was probably a rudi- 
roental form of Sivism, with a tendency to the mystical and mythologi* 
cal systems of the Fur&nas. There is not the least reason to suppose 
that the Vedaic or elementary system was ever known in the Tamil 
country, either as an indigenous religion, or as introduced by the Brah- 
mans. The Brahmans were doubtless the civilizers of the Tamil peo^ 
pie ; and the traditional leader of their migration, Agastya, is said to 
have reduced the Tamil language to order and to have given it a Gram- 
mar, yet not one of the old Tamil names of the elements, the heavenly 
bodies, or the operations of nature is masculine or feminine, as they are 
in Sanscrit, in accordance with the elementary doctrines of the Vedas j 
and there is not the least trace of the elements or powers of nature, hav- 
ing at any time been considered as personal intelligences." 

** The inventors of both the Vedaic and the demonolatrous systems 
seem to have been equally destitute of moral sentiments. Each adored 
power not goodness, operations not virtues 5 but whilst the former 
deified the operations of nature, the latter demonized the powers of 

** It appears very improbable that demonolatry originated in any form 
of Brahmanism. It may be true that from time to time, especially after 
the lapse of elementary worship into mysticism and of hero-worship 
into terrorism, a few Brahmanical ideas have been added to the demo- 
nolatry of the Shanars. A few of the demons who were formerly inde- 
pendent may have been tamed and taken into the service of the petty 
divinities ; or a particular devil may be represented as having formerly 
been a god and degraded to the rank of a demon for refusing to pay doe 
worship to some superior deity. Or, the Brahmans who civilized the 
peninsula, in appointing to every class its specific objects and modes of 
worship, may have sanctioned the appropriation of certain local goblins 
and demons to the worship of the vile, aboriginal populace. But these 
facts, far from accounting for the origin of demonolatry, take its previous 
existance for granted ; and there are many direct reasons for assigning 
to demonolatry an origin independent of Brahmanism and anterior to its 
introduction into the Tamil country, or even into India." 

** ( I.) In all Brahmanical myths the demons are represented as being 
the ancient enemies of the gods, as warring against the gods, and some- 
times gaining the upper hand, and as the inventors and special patrons 
of bloody sacrifices. Every new deity gains prodigious victories over 
the demons ; and yet somehow they never arc thoroughly conquered. 
This style of representation is inconsistent with the idea that deinono- 


]airy is an off shoot of Brahmanism ; but will perfectly acoord with the 
supposition that before the influx of the Brahmans from central Asia 
demonolatry was the religion of the early Tamil inhabitants of India, 
and that the Brahmans on their arrival laboured in vain to extirpate it." 

'^(2.) In all Brahmanical books and legends in which the state of the 
original inhabitants of Peninsular India is described, we are referred to 
a period when demons ruled in the primeval jungles, and when those 
jungles were inhabited solely by vile sinners who ate flesh and offered 
bloody sacriftoes. Contemporaneously with that period the sacred Brah- 
manical race, and all connected with it down to its servile tribes, were 
represented aa invariably worshipping the superior gods, and most com- 
monly ueing unbloody rites. In like manner the Buddhists represent 
Ceylon prior to the advent of Buddhism as having been overrun with 
serp ent-gods and d e mons^* * 

" (3.) Every word used in the Tamil country relative to the Brah- 
manical religions, the names of the gods, and the woids applicable to 
their worship, belong to the Sanscrit, the Brahmanical tongue ; whilst 
the names of demons worshipped by the Shanars in the south, the com- 
mon term for '* devil," and the various words used with reference to 
devil-worship are as uniformly Tamil. Just so in Western Africa, Ma- 
homedan terms belong to the Arabic, whilst aboriginal Fetishism usea 
the native tongues. In a few cases in which the name of the Shan^r de- 
mon is Sanscrit, the facls'or the affinity of its worship with the sangui- 
nary worship of Siva or Kali, and its late introduction into the Tamil 
country are distinctly known ; as, for instance, in the case of Mari- 
Ammen, the inflictor of small pox, and Maha-Kali of Ougein, the cholera 
goddess. The fact of the termindogy of devil-worship being purely 
Tamil throughout is to my mind a tolerably conclusive argument of the 
Tamil origin of the system. With reference to the social state of the 
Tamil people, it is clear that the origin of the words in common use will 
enable any one to determine what was introduced by the Brahmans, the 
civilizers of Peninsular India, and what existed before their arrival. All 
words relating to science, literature and mental refinement, all that re- 
late to an advanced civilization, and all words pertaining to religion, the 
soul, and the invisible world, are in the language of the Brahmans : 
whilst all words that relate to the ordinary arts of life, the face of nature, 
the wants, feelings and duties of a rude and almost a savage i)eople, are 
Tamil. In like manner, the word used with reference to devil-worsliip 
being exclusively Tamil, we are obliged to assign to this superstition a 
high antiquity, and refer its establishment in the arid plains of Tinnevel- 
ly and amongst the Travancore jungles and hills to a period long anterior 
to the influx of the Brahmans and their civilization of the primitive 
Tamil tribes." 

** (4.) It is worthy of remark that there is not any priestly order de- 
voted to the worship of deVils. Every act of Brahmanical worship re- 
quires a priest ; and even in the worship of the inferior deities and in 
the sanguinary worship of the Brahmanical emanations and Ammens, 




(sjdtems of religion opposed to the claims of the Brabmans, Imt to a con* 
siderable extent influenced by their example) the person who ofl^i&tes 
must be exclusively devoted to the duty and a member of a priestly 
family. On the contrary every devil -worshipper is, or may be, his own 
priest. Not unfrequently the head-man acts as priest for the whole vil- 
lage ; but he may be superseded for the time being by any voluntary 
devotee, male or female. This patriarchal, unofficial priesthood evident- 
ly points to the origination of the system in very early times.'' 

'* (5.) It is scarcely credible that the practice of offering bloody sacri- 
fices to malignant demons should have originated with believers in either 
the Vsdas or the ** Orthodox" Pui*&na8. The comparatively recent ori- 
gin of the ascetical worship of Siva and of the sanguinary wcnrship of 
Durga is generally conceded ; and both the theory on which those rites 
are founded and the practices themselves are foreign to the genius of le^ 
gidmate Brahmanism and to the teaching of the entire circle of the 
philosophic schools. The supremacy of the Brahmans has always been 
directly att-acked and their services set aside by the inventors and patrons 
of those sanguinary rites, who have in general been Sadras, and have 
founded priesthoods and successions of Gurus in their own caste to the 
exclusions of the Brahmans. It is also to be remembered that in what- 
ever degree sanguinary rites may be practiced by any .portion of the 
Hindus, in any part of India, they are directly opposed, not only to the 
influence and example of the Brahmans, but to the practice of the immense 
majority of the more cultivated Hindus and the higher castes. So exten- 
sively indeed have Brahmanical principles prevailed, and so express has 
even been their opposition to sanguinary rites, especially since the in- 
fluence of Buddhism began to be felt, that in every part of India. Hin- 
du3 who consider themselves pdr excellence orij^odpxxfigaiithejnjio- 
laBilily of life as the most sacred of laws. It would appear, therefcre, 
that in so far as the Hindus of the higher castes have attributed 
to any of the Brahmanical deities a two-fold character— -one a character 
of mercy, and the other a cruel, sanguinary character, with a horriic 
form ; and in so far as they have resorted to the practice of offering 
bloody sacrifices to any of these deities, on the dai*k side of his charac- 
ter, to that ^5^5J2*^^6y. have rendered homage to the aboriginal deinooo- 
Jatry and borrowed its spirit, either from a wisE to con cfliate, or, as is 
more probable, from their having imbibed sTconiidefabte share of the 
^ar and gloom of their demonolatrous predecejisors or neighbours. Jn 
a similar manner the Buddhists of Burma and Ceylon have added to 
Buddhism {he " worship of nidigenous demons, thouglf" nothing: can be 
Slip posed more foreign to the genius of Buddhism than^ such a sy stem." 
*'(6.) One of the clearest proofs of the'un-Brah mimical origin of devil- 
worship is obtained by a reference to the history of the devib them- 
selves. The process of demonification is still going on amongst the Sha- 
nars 5 and in every case the chard,cteristic8 of the devil and^his worship 
ate derived from the character and exploits of his human prototype. 
There is a continual succession of devils claiming the adoration dT^e 


Sbanars, and after a tirae sinking into forgetfulness ; but not one of the 
n)i>re recent of the race has an j connexion with the legends of Brah* 
manism. One of the demons most feared at present, Psdav^shum, was 
a Maravar of a servile fa^ilj, who made himself celel>rated for his rob- 
beries and outrages " from Madura round to Quilon" during the latter 
period of the Mahomedan government. So celebrated has he become al- 
ready that thousands of persons are called after his name. Mahomedans 
also, who certainly have no connection with Brahmanism, are supposed to 
have become devils. But it is a still more remarkable fact, and one which 
1 suppose cannot easily be paralleled, that in the district of a neighbouring 
Missionary a European was till recently worshipped as a demon. From 
the rude verses which were sung in connection with his worship it would 
appear that he was an English Officer, a Captain Pole, or some such 
name, who was mortally^ wounded at the taking of the Travancore lines 
in A. D. 1809, and was buried about 25 miles from the scene of the battle 
in a sandy waste ; where, a few years after, his worship was established 
by the Shanars of the neighbourhood. His worship consisted in the 
offering to his manes of spirituous liquors and cheroots !" 

" (7.) Far from the system of demonolatry practised by the Shanars 
having originally been taught by, or borrowed from, the Brahmans, there 
is probable evidence that the Brahmanical system, in so far as it was 
introduced, was considered by the Shanars a hostile And rival creed, and 
expressly opposed as such. For instance, the grand national festival of 
the Shanars, the only day throughout the year which they keep as a 
holiday, that which they consider in a special manner the day of re- 
joicing appointed for Shanars, is the first day of the solar month of 
Adi. This, according to the Hindu Astronomy, is the first day of the sun's 
southern course, but of this circumstance the Shanars know nothing. No 
people can be more utterly ignorant of Astronomy than they are. In so 
far as they are concerned, the first of Adi is professedly celebrated as a 
festival in memory of Ravana the Rak^hasa king of Ceylon, who on 
that day carried off Sita the wife of Rama, the hero-god of the Brah- 
mans. Ravana's prime-minister,* Mahodara, is believed to have been a 
Shanar; and to this day the Shanars glory in tlie historical position gain- 
ed for once 1>y a member of their caste, and rejoice over Rama's grief and 
in Ravana's joy! Does not this circumstance point both to the Cingalese 
origin of the Shanar caste and to the prevalence amongst them in early 
times of an ti -Brahmanical zeal? The Shanars have even succeeded in 
making reprisals upon Brahmanism. In a village in -my neighbourhood 
Rama himself has been converted into a demon. Only think of the all- 
glorious hero-god of the Hindus, Rama-chandra, the conqueror of the 
Rakshasas and demons, and civilizer of the peninsula, worshipped as him- 
self a demon with bloody sacrifices and devil-dancing and the usual 
frenzied orgies I Here Brahmanism gives only the name : the form and 
genius of the system are anti-Brahmanical ; and both the original inde- 
pendence and the hereditary predominance and strength of the Shanar 
system receive an apt illustration." 


" The religion of the Shanars, though unconnected with Brahmanism, 
is not without a parallel in the tropics. If a connection must be establish- 
ed between it and any other form of religion it maj be classed with the 
superstitions of Western Africa, as a species of fetishism. In fetishism 
we observe the same transformation of the spirits of the dead into demons, 
the same worship of demons by frantic dances and bloody sacrifices, the 
same possessions and exorcisms, the same cruelty and fear and gloom, 
the same ignorance respecting a future state, the same shadowy, indolent, 
goodsptrit half visible in the back-ground, the same absenoe of a regu- 
lar priesthood, the same ignorance of asceticism, religious mendicancy 
and monasticism, and of every idea of revelations and incarnations. It 
may be said with safety that the two systems have a greater resemblance 
to one another than either of them has to any of the other religions of 
the heathen world. There is no reason however for supposing that there 
is any connexion between them, beyond the origin of both in the same 
tamper of mind and character, and the suggestions of the same Evil 

'* At the close of this account of the demonolatry of the Shanars, its 
practices and probable origin, few readers will be able to avoid the re- 
flection ; — how different is the religious condition of these rude tribes 
from all the ideas we had formed of Hindus and Hinduism. Notwith- 
standing the world-wide fame of the Hindu Vsdas, Puranas, and Sas- 
tras, here is an extensive district in India where they are unknown. 
Here amongst the Shanars survive the Asuras and Pythons with which 
the gods did battle in their youth. Notwithstanding the successive 
prevalence of the Brahmanism of the Vgdas, Buddhism, and the Brah- 
manism of the Puranas, the influence of each in turn, and the eager- 
ness of each to make proselytes, here is a tract of country containing, 
exclusive of the Brahmanical inhabitants, a population of upwards of 
500,000 souls, all Hindus, all belonging to recognized castes, who do 
not appear ever to have received any of those religions, and to whom 
what Europeans call Hindusim is still a foreign creed. None of the 
sects into which orthodox Sivism is divided can be found here, much 
less any of the innumerable sects into which Vishnuism has been brok- 
en up. Here in polished and metaphysical India we find a civiliza- 
tion but little raised above that of the Negroes, and a religion which 
can only be described as fetishism. And what exists in Tinnevelly 
is only a type of the social and religious condition of extensive tracts 
throughout India with which Europeans have not yet become familiar." 







Havings in the first three parts of this genealogy, treated of the gods 
and goddesses that are worshipped by these heathens with many offer- 
ings, we have now in conclusion briefly to speak of various classes of 
hnaginary celestial beings, who are not formally worshipped, and have 
no temples erected in their honour, but are held in high esteem, and 
much spoken of in the Pnranas, and ought, therefore, to be known. 

We treat of them in four chapters in the following order : 

. Chi^ I. The Devas, with D^v^dra, Indrani, and Chitraputra (or 

Chap. II. The Rishis, i. e. holy Sages. 
Chap. III. The Attendants and Servants of the Gods. 
Chap. lY. Th^ Regents of the Eight Cardinal Points. 




The Devds, with Devendra, Incbrdni, and Chitrapvira 

(or Chitragupta). 

These heathens fable of 330 roilUons of beings, whom they call Q/soiir 
^tk DevaSf i. e. gods, but who are in every respect only demi-gods, or a 
sort of angels. They inhabit one of the fourteen worlds, called D8- 
valoka, or Svarga ; but thoy are believed to be able to be wherever thej 
please, and to be frequently in attendance on Isvara, Vishnu and Brahma, 
and to enjoy with them great gkury ; for which reason they are then also 
thought worthy of being honoured by men on earth. The Devas need 
not labour for their foodt for in the Devaloka is a tree called apua£(^ 
i^^u> Kalpakavriksha, which 3delds whatever they desire to eat ; and a 
well, called ^tSir^Qmrgt Amritakinaru, containing the beverage of im- 
mortality named Amrita; and a cow, named airmC/s^fi Kamadhgnu, which 
supplies every want.* 

Regarding the DSvas one of these heathens wrote us as follows : '^ Xho 
^0,000,000 Devas were created prior to men, for the purpose of wor- 
shipping, serving, and praising God, the Creator. They dwell in the 
Devaloka and have a nature far superior to ours. They are always with 
€k»d, serving and praising him. And because they enjoy very great 
felicity, we men on earth honour and reverence them. But at the end, 
when all creatures will return into their origin, the DSvas as well as all 
the 8,400,000 species of creatures, will cease to exist, and nothing will 
remain but the one Supreme Being." 

Of these so-called gods few only are known by names ;^ but here and 
there paintings exhibiting various stories concerning them are found in 

* Also mortaLs possesfed of some merit reside, in the form of gods, in Svarga, the 
Indian Elysium ; but when their merit is exhausted, they must again be born on 
earth as men or animals, or go to a place of suffering in heU for the expiation of pre- 
vious demerit. Svarga is the only heaven presented to the hope of the multitude ; 
ascetics and philosophers only Can rise higher^ and attain Mokshai L e. absorption in 
the deity. 

f The ,330,000,000 DSvas are divided into four classes, with a chief for each C«rjf. 
Kodi (crore), i. e. 10,000,000, as follows ; 1 . amr^sr^^rt Dvadasadityas, i. e. the 
twelve Adityas, literally suns, chiefs of their class numbering with them 120,000,000 ; 
2. ^srfiSdf^^irt Ekadasa Rudras, L e. the eleven Rudras, lords of their companies) 
comprising in all 110,000,000 ; 3. ,^«:»l.««a«^ Ashta Yasus, i. e. the eight Vasus, 
their classes, including themselves, containing 80,000,000 ; 4. ^^^uttJlMA Asvinis, 
who are the two physicians of the gods, and chiefs of a class containing 20,000,000. 
Dr, Winslow's Tamil Dictionary, 

In the Rig- V^da the number of the gods is said to be 33 only, among whom India, 
Agni, Vayu, and Varuna are the principal ones ; whereas they occupy now very 
subordinate places as regents of the cardinal points. See chapter iv and the appendix 
to part iv. 



the houses of the opulent According to the stories that are related of 
them, they are bj no means free from sin, nor have they always been 
without trouble : they get angry ; fight ; indulge in sinful sports ; have 
densual desires ; were frequently cursed, defeated, put to flight, and even 
killed. For instance, once when they were assembled to witness a certain 
play and dancing, Vrihaspati, their principal Guru or chief priest, came, 
and DSvSndra, captivated by the charms of the courtesan Urvasi, did 
not observe him, nor receive him with the honours due to his office. By 
this Vrihaspati got offended, hid himself in the Dsvaloka, and deprived 
the DSvas of bis blessing $ in consequence of which they became weak, 
and were overcome, and for a long time greatly oppressed, by the Asuras, 
till at last Isvara had mercy on them anddehvered them out of the 
hwnds of their oppressors. Another time, when they assisted at the 
sacrifioe of Daksha [an account of which see in chap. v. of part iii.], 
they were beaten and cursed by Isvara to serve the Asuras for many 
Ihoasand years. Many such like stories are related of the Devas ;* never- 
theless, these heathens think highly of them, and at the sacrifices they 
make to Isvara or Vishnu, they make also mention of the Dgvas, the 
Hishis, and the regents of the cardinal points> and perform some ceremo- 
nies in their honour. 

The king of the Dsvas, called c^c^^fiirar DSvSndra or Indra is re- 
l»resented with four arms and hands : with two he holds a lance, in the 
third onethe«»^^j/r(i/^£^Vajrayudha,i. e. the thunderbolt, and the fourth 
one is empty. The VajrSlyudha, which is said to make invincible, he gives 
to those who practise austerities in his honour. On his head he wears a 
-crown; in his hair-locks, pearls and precious stones; and on his ears, neck, 
breast, arms, and feet, ornaments of various descriptions. From his 
-shoulders garlands hang down, and his seat is an exalted throne. More- 
over, his whole body is full of eyes, and they are said to be owing to the 
curse of the Rishi Gautama, with whose wife Ahalya he committed 
adultery. Several such indecent stories are related of him, but they re- 
main better untold. 

The audience-chamber of Dev^ndra is so large that it accommodates all 
the 330,000,000 gods, together with the 48,000 Rishis, and the multitude 
of attendants. Behind the king stand always Rishis, offering flowers, and 
round about him gods and Chitraputra, the recorder, with a book. When 
he goes out, he rides on a white elephant called ^luffir^fith Airavata, of 
which many stories are related. Besides the king no one in the Dsva- 
loka is allowed to ride on a white elephant. The king of the DSvas, 
however, was not always one and the same person. The present Devgn- 
dra is the son of the Rishi Easyapa. According to a letter from these 
heathens, he that aspires to the dignity of Dgvgndra must let loose a 
thousand horses, and then make as many Tagas or burnt-offerings as the 
horses have left traces of their hoofs ; moreover, he must comply with 
every request that is made to him at the time ; and be possessed of the 

♦ See more especially the account of tlie churning of the sea of milk on pp 73 & 74, 


merit of penance and the faTOor of the highest god. Having th^ ob- 
tained the dignitj, he is carried in a pahinquin by. the principal Bishis, 
and receives homage from the gods, the Bishis» and'all the heavenly hoBts, 
among whom he exercises the authority of a king and jndge. Every 
grievance is, in the first instance, brought before him $ but if it proves 
too difficult for him, it is brought before Brahmi, then before Vishnu, 
and finally before Isvara, the supreme judge. 

Of the^ various names which the poets have given to DSvSndra the 
following may be mentbned : 1* giifism Indra ; 2. Qm^t^gmm^k M^ha* 
yShana (he who has the clouds as his vehicle) ; 3. Q^tf^^^Q^i^m 
V$lvikkuv$ndan (lord of sacrifice) ; 4» m^^^truirmS Yajrapani (wearer 
of the thunder-bolt) ; 6. ufs^K^rmm P^kasasana (conqueror of the 
giant Pakasa) ; 6. miir^^^QsiriDgm Vinorkoman (king of the celestials) ; 
7. tSmQPQfi/sirt^ Vinmurhuthali (ruler of the sky) ; 8. ly^^L^or Puruhfita 
(the much-invoked) ; 9. nCttitB/f^ Purohita (prie^) ; 10« mifi^iraam 
Karivahana (he that has the elephant as his vehicle).; 11. ^rmB^nm 
Sunasira (the leader of the celestial hosts) ; 12, ^tBjrmsmr^Bsr^b- Ayiran- 
kannan (the thousand-eyed). 

The wife of DSvSndra, called Indrani, is represented as an ever 
blooming virgin, and whilst the dignity of the king of the gods passes 
from one to another, she remains the wife of ev^7 succeeding DevSndra. 
Indiilni is not worshipped, but paintings of her as well as of D^vSiuIra 
and other celestials are met with* 

Though Indrani never brought forth a son herself, she has nevertheless 
a son, called ^^figi^^fia^ Chitraputra (or Chitraguptn), who was bom 
unto her of her cow, as a reward for the austerities which she practised 
in honour of Isvara to the end that he might grant her a son« 

From a letter from one of these heathens concerning Indrani and Chi- 
traputra we learn, that, at the time when the cow brought forth the 
latter, the former had pain like a woman in travail, and also her breasts 
became full, so that she could nurse the child herself* And regardiog 
Chitraputra we are informed that he was before his birth of the cow (f 
Indnlni the recorder of the deity ; but as he had become proud because 
of the importance of his office, Isvara, in order to humble him, caused 
him to be born to Indrd^ni of a cow, but installed him, however, afterwards 
again in his former office. As recorder of the deity he has to record the 
virtues and vices of all men* and to calculate the time when their lives 
are to end, and also how much of happiness or unhappiness they are to 
enjoy, according to their deserts* 



The Riahia or great Sages, 

Another class of very celebrated celestials are the giQ^^sar Rishis 
or great Sages, said to be 48,000 in number** They are supposed to be 
great and holy persons, who, by different kinds of austerities, have ac- 
quired great gifts and power to bless and to curse most efiectuallj. 
What these heathens think of them may be seen from the following 
passage of a letter written to us about them : " The 48,000 Risbis are 
divine creatures, who were created together with the 830,000,000 Dsvas, 
Sn order that they might do hard penance before God, and serve him in 
hdiness, and thus be models and patterns for men. They need neither 
sleep nor rest, neither food nor drink ; they are continually engaged in 
austerities and contemplation, and in adoring and praising God.^' 

In the Puranas many an absurd story is related of the Rishis« accord- 
ing to which they are now in this world, then in that of the gods, and 
then in that of Isvara, or Vishnu, or Brahma ; for they are believed to 
have the power to be wherever they please. Not all the 48,000 Rishis 
are known by names, but certain among them have become very fa- 
mous, and pictures of them, in which they ^are represented as prac- 
tising austei ities, are frequently met with. Those that are best known 
are the following : Agasty^ Narada, Gautama, Ysdavyasa, Pundarika, 
Yalmiki, Vasishtha, Visvamitra, Durvasa, Suta, Eapila, Kasyapa, MEr- 
kandea and Jamadagni.f 

* Only here in Southern India their number seems to be fixed at 48,000. 

t In the Vishnu Pur&na we read: ''There are three kinds of Rishis or in- 
spired sages ; royal Rishis, or princes who have adopted a life of devotion, as 
Visvamitra ; divine Rishis, or sages who are demigods also, as Narada ; and 
Brahman Rishis, or sages who are the sons of Brahma or Brahmans, as Va- 
sishtha and others." The Rishis are very often also called Munis, which word 
means likewise sages. Moreover the Hindu books ppeak very frequently of 
the ^^fiifl^fiselr, Sapta Rishis, i. e. the seven primitive and most famous 
Rishis, whose names are according to one list: Atri, Angirasa, Gautama, 
Jamadagni, Bharadvaja, Vasishtha, Visvamitra; and according to another: 
Agastya, Angirasa, Gautama, Kasyapa, Pulasthya, Markandga, Vasishtha. 

To be distinguished from the great Rishis, and yet, to some extent, identi- 
cal with them, are the nine Frajapatis or patriarchs, the mind-born sons of 
Brahma. They are Bhrigu, Folastya, Pulaha/ Kratu, Angiras, Marichi, Dak- 
sha, Atri, and Vasishtha. Among them Daksha, who had many daughters, is 
best known, more especially because of his great sacrifice which was destroy- 
ed by Virabhadra. 


1 • ^smfiiiji Agast^ra is represented as wearing on his neck a ji^smri^ 
Harikhanda, i. e. an iron grate or frames of cross bars, a means of 
self-torture. His forehead is besmeared with sacred a^hes, and his 
garment is a tiger's skin, which is to be found with all sages. His 
abode is said to be QuitJSIujld^ Pothiymalai (a mountain near Cape 
Comorin), where he is believed to reside to the present daj, though not 
shewing himself. 

''Agastya is celebrated in the Ramayana, Skanda, and other works of 
antiquity. He is regarded as the former of the Tamil language, which he 
is said to have learned of Skanda, the son of Siva. He is also the reputed 
author of several works, still extant, in whole or in part, in the Tamil 
language ; such as, a Grammar, a Materia Medica, a work on Astrology 
and Astronomy, and several essays on the unity of the divine being, as 
opposed to the popular system of poly thebm, etc. He is regarded as the 
son of both Mithra and Yaruna by Urvasi ; and is represented to be of 
very short stature, and to have been born in a water-jar. He is famed for 
having compressed and swallowed the ocean, for the sake of the celestials. 
Other wonderful stories are also told of him, and received with undoubted 
credence. He is considered as the regent of the star Canopus ; and be- 
cause of his short stature he is also called (^g»Qp€^ Kurumuni, i. e. the 
dwarfish sage." — (Dr. Winslow*s Tamil Dictionary,) 

2. iBnafldr Narada is represented as sitting in a fire, having his hands 
folded over his head, and stretching his legs likewise towards his head, 
whilst his arms ana legs are tied together with a girdle. He is said to be 
a son of Brahma, and the inventor of the Vina or lute, and the prince 
of musicians. He was a friend of EIrishna, and in mythological writings 
he is often described as going on errand and sowing sedition and discord 
among the gods and men.* 

3. Qs&rfiLDiT Gautama is represented as stretching his legs upwards and 
resting his head on a large pin fixed in an orange which is put on a bra- 
zen waterpot. He is the reputed founder of the Nyaya philosophy* 

4. Qatfi^iuir^ir Vedavyasa is represented in a kneeling posture, with 
folded hands as if engaged in prayer. He wears a pigtail and a rosary 
of Rudraksha, and, like the other sages, a tiger's skin and a girdle. Near 
Jtiim stands a pot with water, which never becomes empty, and being 
very sacred, is seldom used for drinking, but for blessing or cursing. 
Vedavyasa is regarded as the compiler of the Vedas and the founder 
of the old Vedantic philosophy. 

5. Lf€8aiL,i?a/r Pundarlka is represented in a standing posture, and quite 
^naked. He has his hands continually folded over his head, with long 
nails on them. On his head he wears a rosary of Rudraksha, and bis 
Jocks hang down on his shoulders. He is the son of Vedavyasa, and 
concerning him and his father, one of these heathens wrote us as follows: 
"Vedavyasa, having promulgated the Vedas, was very anxious to get a son, 

* In chap, ii of the appendix to the fourth part something more will be 
found concerning Narada. 


and practised to this end aasterities in honour of Siva. Then it came to 
pass that a parrot, brought up by him, gave birth to a son, named Punda- 
rika, who, immediately after his birth, went away, quite naked, in order 
to engage in austerities. On his way he passed by a tank in which 
celestial females were bathing, who, though they saw him, did not put on 
their clothes; but no sooner did they see V^davyasa, following after his 
son, than they put them on ; whereupon the latter addressed them as fol- 
lows : " How is it that you put on your garments as soon as you saw me, 
an old man, whereas you did not cover yourselves when my son passed 
by ?" " Thy son,'* replied they, " though very young, has neither passion 
nor desire, and thinks only of pleasing God by denying himself and 
engaging in austerities ; but thou, though old, hast still a desire after 
women and children, for otherwise thou wouldst not seek to prevent thy 
son from practising austerities." The Rishi, on hearing these words, 
acknowledged them to be true and resolved to practise austerities together 
with his son. Finally Pundarika entered into a Linga at Negapatam, 
where there is a tank named after him, and near it an image of him, 
which is worshipped with offerings." 

6. eutreoiBQ Valmiki is a devotee of Vishnu, and wears therefore his 
marks on his forehead and arms. He stands on one leg, and the other 
one as well as his arms he stretches upwards. Concerning him one of 
these heathens wrote us as follows : '* Valmiki was orginally a bowman, 
living, together with his wife, in a forest and feeding on wild animals. 
Then it happened that the seven great Rishis came into that forest, and 
saw him, and asked him, who and what he was ; to which he replied, 
that he was a forester living on wild animals. On hearing this, the 
Rishis told him that his was a sinful mode of living. Having come to 
his wife, he informed her of what the Rishis had said, and asked her 
which of them was responsible for their having killed and eaten so many 
animals ; whereupon his wife said, he who had brought them and desired 
her to dress them. Then he went again to the Rishis, and acknowledg- 
ing that he had committed a great sin in killing and eating so many 
animals, he asked them what he should do. The Rishis told him to adore 
a certain mango-tree, which he did most faithfully ; and being very 
much pleased with his implicit obedience, and inferring from it that he 
would make a very faithful disciple, they instructed him further ; in conse- 
quence of which he acquired so much wisdom as to be able to compose 
tiie great Ramayana, containing 24,000 stanzas in the Sanscrit language. 
When this fact was known in the different worlds, the gods and Rishis 
requested him to sing and explain to them his great poem, and being ex- 
ceedingly pleased with him, they acknowledged and received him as a 
great Rishi."* 

7. ci&t^L.^ Vasishtha is represented as being quite white, and his 
austerities consist in crying continually, with one leg and one arm lifted 

* See also the story of Lava and Kusa in chap. vii. of part ii. vhere some- 
thing more of Valmiki is to be found. 


up. His hair-locks are tied together on his head in the shape of a cap, 
and on it, as well as round his neck, he wears a rosary of Radraksba ; 
while his garment is a tiger's skin, and his furnitare a water pot. He 
is one of the seven Rishis of the first order, who are supposed to shine in 
the sky as the seven stars of the Great Bear. With Visvamitra he 
lived in a continual feud, of which we find traces in the following story 
concerning king Harisohandra, which is nearly as popular as diat of 
king Nala and his wife Damayanti.* 

Once when all the 830,000,000 gods and 48,000 Rishis were assembled 
in DevSndra's audience-chamber, the latter asked Yasishtha, whether he 
knew of any one among men on earth who did never lust after another's 
wife, nor speak a lie ; to which the Rishi replied : " Yes, there is a dis-* 
ciple of mine, king Harisohandra, he never spoke a lie." On hearing this 
Visvamitra called out : ^ Harisohandra is a deceiver and liar." Then said 
Vasishtha : " If Harisohandra is found to speak the least untruth, I will 
cease to be a Rishi and to come into this assembly.** " Well,*' answered 
Yisvamitra, " if I find him altogether truthful, I will give him all the 
merit of my penance ; but I am afraid, you will at once tell him that I am 
about to try him.** Upon this Vasishtha took an oath, that he would not 
at all go near the king till the matter was settled ; and Yisvamitra went 
to Harisohandra and tempted him in different ways, more especially 
through women, to speak an untruth ; but the king did not swerve from 
the truth. At last the Rishi asked him for a large sum of money, and 
having received it, he returned it to him with the request to take care of it 
till he would require it. After a very long time Yisvamitra came and de- 
sired all the money, together with compound interest, which amounted to 
a sum exceeding the value of his kingdom; but Harisohandra, in order to 
pay the sum, sold all he had, and also himself together with his wife and 
son. Subsequently he was separated from his wife Saiyavati, and em* 
ployed to burn corpses. Then, behold, one day, there comes a woman 
to have her dead child burnt, and he recognizes her as his wife by her 
T&li (the marriage-badge) ; which he requires <^ her as his wages for 

* The following is an outline of the celebrated story of king Nala and his fiuth« 
fol spouse Damayanti. Nala was king of Nishada, and so very excellent that Danui- 
janti> a most beautiful royal princess, preferred him to Indra, Sani (regent of the 
planet Saturn)^ and other demi-gods. Incensed at Damayanti's refusal to marry him, 
Sani, a very malevolent being, persecnted the royal conple with great hatred, and 
caused Nala to lose his kingdom by gambling, and to be banished to the wilderness f 
and as his faithful consort could not be persuaded to return to her father, he took her 
with him into the forest ; but not being wiUing to cause her so much suffering as a 
Ufe in the woods inyolves, he resolved to leave her alone when she was sleeping 
under a tree, thinking she would then return to her father's house. But she wonla 
not ; lamenting she sought her husband, and when she could not find him, she went 
to a certain king and became a maid«of-honour to the queen ; whilst Nala wandered 
about, and became so black that he could no longer be recognized as king Nala. 
Finally he became cook to the king at whose court Damayanti lived, and such a 
skilful cook he was that his skill in cooking has became a proverb ; and after lUl 
be was recognized as king Nala by his faithful spouse, and having recovered his 
former beautiful appearance, he re-gained also his throne. 


KoriHi^ the cli^ and whidi she wiU not give swaj. While Ihey yet 
talk, there oone messeDgerft to seize the womf0\, because she was suspect* 
ed c^haviiig kidnapped a rojal prince who happ^ied 40 be very similar to 
her child. Being found guilty, she is cond^nned to death, aad Harie* 
^aadra is ordered to behead her ; and he is ready to obey : but, befaoMt 
suddenly the sword is turned into flowers, the child becooies alive, aad 
the royal eoaple are restored to their former glory. According to other 
accounts, Harischandra and all his subjects were transferred into Indra's 
heaven, but being led into vaan^glory bj ^arada, he was again turned 
out, and would have fallen to the earth, had he not quickly done penance, 
bj virtue of which he was kept soaring in the air, and his residence is 
BOW and then stiU seen in the clouds.* 

S. ^^tmniB^fdr Visvamitra, in practioing austerities, stretehes his 
legs upwaids, resting his body on one of his arms, and raising the other 
one towards his face. In this posture he is engaged in prayer and medita- 
tion. About him one wrote us as follows : *^ Visv&mitra was once a king 
among men. But he arenounced his kingdom and his f^j^ together 
wi<li all his royal family, in order to go into the wilderness and practise 
attsterities. Having done severe penance for a long time, the divinity 
appeared to him and asked him what reward ho desired for his austeri* 
ties ; whereupon be answered and said : " I wish that I may become a 
Rishi, who can bless and curse indeed ; that I may never die, but coa« 
tinually serve thee ; and that all I begin may prosper." All these things 
being granted unto him, he became a Baja-E^shi, i. e. a royal Rishi. But 
sot content with this dignity, he desired to become a Brahma^Rishi, and 
engaged to this end once more in austerities, in oonsequence of which he 
became at last a Brahnia-Ri8hi."t 

9, si'tteaH'Tk Durvasas is represented as sitting in a fire^ stretching his 
arms upwards^ and being on the wfac^ equipped like the other Bishis. 
He is of a ch<4mo, irascible temper ; be will not bear oon^diction, and, 
when offen^d, he utters a curse of sure and dreadful effect. For a 
trifling cause, he pronounced once a curse on Indra, which brought on a 
kmg strife between the DSvas and Asuras, concerning which see page 73* 
10^ ^^or (commonly ^^u>^irifl^) Slta is represented as praying in a 
kneeling posture^ - To him Isvara is said to have appeared from the 
ckmds, in the form of a man* woman, and to have taken him to his seat 
of bliss. 

n. ^iSeoff Kapila stands on one leg, stretching the other upwards 
towards his head. On his mouth he wears an iron grate, and a QdrarHI 
Kinnari, i. e. a two-stringed lute, hangs about him ; while his hands are 
f<Med as in ptayef ^ He is the reputed feunder of the Sankhya philoso- 
t>hy, and varioVHi poetic compositions are ascribed to him« 

* Aoooiding to tiie «tory rdated in chap, ii t)C the i^pendix to part iv, Harisdhaiidia 
spoke lies repeatedly. 

t Some thing more of Visvftmitra' will be found in the itory of SanahsSpha 
in the lecond chapter of the appendix to part ir. 


186 IBB BISIUSi on maBAfS SAfiXft 

12. mw9uv K&sjApfti is ropreseiAed in » sifttiag postite^ sMtclimg kk 
lega^ iif>wardS) iod lysewise also one anov and i& his olber band be 
hokis a flower, ibcoording to the tnydk^oo^oi Kashmetfs aad Nepaiil^ 
he was to Northoim Uiiidiistaii whal Agast^ waa to Sottthera Indi% 
namely ita great aviliaec. In mjlbalogj^ he is the fatiier of the Bevsa 
hrji Adiiiy and o^tfae Asuras by Dkiv* 

The stories eoticerning the aasteritiea of the l^his gare eccasion 
fi>r tiie setting up of yarioas <Hrder8> of asdetics and peattentey Rocb 
a» the Yogis^ Gn&nis^ and SaaDjasSs, who try to imitate the Bishis 
i» the practiee of austerities as* far as iH is practickhle in this present 
evil age* The Y$gi has Uy practiee^ tiie fdlowiog eight things: L 
restraint of the appetites ; 2. reUgieus observanees ; 3i siUaag ov 
a tiger^s skia ;. 4w brealAiing in a peculiar wa7;i 5. restraia^g the senses ; 
^. flauttg the mxnd on a member of the bodj ; 7. silent meditation ;> ^^ 
standing in an upright majestic position, as a fancied image of the dettf . 
A Gnaai is one who has attained to mjstio oc recondite kaowle^e, 
▼iz., knowledge of the natwre of the deitj, the son^ the inteUect, etc^ 
demved from- meditation, the teaching of the Guru, experietice,; m\^ 
aoovtificaiion, etc* ^ or one who has attained to the fourth and highest 
degree in the Saiva system, that of the exalted ascetic who, by auste^ 
sides, is said to have annihilated his passions ; freed has soid from earthly 
desire ; and become ripe for Moksha, i e. absorption in the deity. 

The order of the Sannyftsis is tiie last of the four orders or conditioim 
prescrilM for the Brahmans. These four conditions ave : 1 . that of the 
Brahmachari or bachelor, wfao» from the time of hie tnyestment with the 
iacred cord^ is required to tend the sacred iires and to follow Ida studies 
under, or in the presence of, his preceptor ^ 2. that of the Grihasts otf 
house-hdder, who, from his marriagOy must strictly observe hiapeligkus 
dut&es, maintain the sacred fires, and liberally practise hospitality for the 
support of the other three ord^» ; 3; that of the Yanaprastha: or reelose, 
whOr with ar without his wife, relinguishes domestic fife, retires to the 
desert, feeding on leaves^ roots and fruits, or on the hospitalt ty of the 
cfeeond order^ and continues to perform his daily rites ; 4. tluit of the 
t^annyftsi or ascetic^ who performs no rrle whatever,^ and appears some- 
titnes in a state of nudity ; who kas renounced social life, with aU its' e»- 
jeyments and attachaaents, and subjected his passion ; who lives ou ifhtA 
is given him unasked, and remains in a village only one day, in a Iowd 
j^t more than three days, and in a city only five ; les^ his mind beedme 
[Seeuiari^d. — ( See Br, Wmdew's Tamd IXctionary.) 

• l^brkaod^a, the »on of Mrikiuida and ihe reputed author of the HarlLaadSa- 
Pumna, is also one of the famous Rishis. He is the Brahman boy spoken of 
on page 51, who was to remain a youth of sixteen. Another celebrated Rishi 
hr the f^tfaBT of Psnraun^ma, Jamadagni, concerning whom sometiring it to be 
found in chap. ii. of part iii. 

TH£ AirjrBlffm:Nm AVB nSlBBmNTS (OF TH£ (EKMDS. »7 


The Attendants and Sen^vanta of the Qode. 

As these heathens think, Svacga, the lieaven of the gods, to be li{Le the 
court of an earthly king, only much greater and grander, ^h^y ascribe to 
the gods also different kinds of attendants and servants, of whom the BdI- 
lowing may be mentioned : 1. Qararuir Kinnaras; 2. Qun^^m^ir Kimpuru- 
shas; 3. ^A-c^/ffi/if Gandharbas ; 4. uekarmi Pannagas ; S.-Si^^i Siddhoa^ 
6. tQ^fiiuir^ffir Vidy&dharas ; 7. swurmitfia Gananathas or ^.finmmw B^tasj 
8. Qfitufiir^m&r DSvadasb, the female dancers and courtesans of Svai^a. 
The dwelling place of almost all these various eelestials is the world of 
the :gods, but they are said to have the power -to be wherever they pleasQ^ 
wherefore they are now found in the heaven of the gods, then oo feartlv 
and then in the world of Isvara, or Vishnu, or Brahma. 

i. The Kinnaras are heavenly choristers, represented by a human 
figure, with the head of a horse. They are said to sing and )play most 
charmingly, and to be specially attached to the retinue or service of Ku- 
vjra, the god of riches and one of the xegents of the cardinal points. 

2. The Kimpurushas are a kind of celestial musicians who ^possess* 
human face and the body of a bird. Th^y are said to be much with Isva-> 
r% VishBU, and Brahma, serving and praising them. 

3. The GrandharvAS are likewise ^ kind of celestial choristers, similar 
to the former. 

The most celebrated of the celestial musicians are Tumburu and N^'* 
rada. The former was a man, and, in order to become a eelestial musi- 
cian, he practised austerities, till Isvara appeared to him and made him, 
according to his request, an excellent singer and player on the Msmr 
Yina (the Indian late, usually of seven strings and two octavea). The 
latter, Narada, is one of the Eishis of whom we have spoken in the fore^ 
going ^hf^ter. 

4. The Pannagas are a sort of snake-charmers, who amuse thOrgods 
by the tricks they play with serpents. 

5. The Siddhas are spirits who fly in the air, and are able to be in a 
moment now here and then there, They were originally men, who, by 
their holy lives and austerities, have become celestial spirits. Concern- 
ing them we read in Wilson's Vishnu Pur&na as follows : ** The path of 
the gods lies to the north of the solar sphere, north of the Nagavithi 
(the stars of Aries and Taurus), and south of the seven Rishis (Ursa 
Ma^r). There dwell the Siddhas, of subdued senses, eondnent and 
pure, undesirous of progeqy, and therefore victorious over death : eighty-^ 
eight thousand of these chaste beings tenant the regions of the ^y, north 


of the soiiy until the destruction of the nnivene: they enjoy immortality, 
for they are holy ; exempt from covetousness and concupisence, love and 
hatred; taking no part in the procreation of liTing beings, and detecting 
the unreality of thQ properties of elementary matter." 

6. The Vidy&dhuras are the scholars in the world of the gods, and 
altogether unmatched as r^ga^ds learning. When the Dsvas and Bishis 
are assembled before Dsvendra, the VidylLdharas are also present and 
discuss learned subjects. The sixty-four sciences and arts, which are 
learned and studied here on earth in part, are known and practised by 
item in perfection, and neir tMngs are found out by them, so that they 
can enterfain both the gods and the Bishis most agreeably. 

7. The Ganan&thas or DStmi are divided into three dasses, viz I . 
9mjfgfin^m«f Sira-dfltas, f. e. Siva's messengers*, 2. ^^sjt^fnr£*St 
Vishfitr-dfKas^ i. e. Vishnu^s messengex^; 3. fULn^^nm^^ Taeba^dttas, 
i e. Tama's messengers. 

As regards the Siva^dStas, they are represefifted as behfg red, short, 
and thick, Hke the Bhtltas. Their hafr-locks, twisted together, t^t on 
their heads Ivfee a cap, and from their mouths project two great liotf's teeth. 
They have four hands, in wfdch they hold, respectively, a suak^, a cord, 
a trident, and a winc'^jug ; whilst their body is adorned with various fxr-^ 
ihtraents. By means of these messengers Isvara fetches' the souls of his 
devotees at their death to Ms seat of bliss, called KailUsa, and that in ft 
cfttf»u^iQuiireirch Pushpaktfviutana, i. e. a self^movifig chariot. 

The Yishnu'dtltas have their htfir dresscid like the Sivatd^iB^ and al^ 
Hke them a Hoif^s teeth, but otherwise they resemble Vishnu, being of a 
bfue colour, and wearivrg the Tirunama on their forehead, arm&f, and' 
breasts ; and round their necks a rosary of Tulasimani ; whilst they h(^ 
in their four hands, respectively, a Sankha, a Chakra, a battle-axe, and 
a dub. Through these messengers Vishnu fetches the souls of hisr ffutli-^ 
M devotees^ into his abode of bliss called VaikuUtha. 

The Yaiua-dtitas, the messengers of Tama, the king of death and H^lt, 
are painted qtdte blax^k, like demons, with horriMe faces and great tee^. 
Irt their four hands: they carry a trident, a cftrb And many ropes' ; an^ iii 
their girdles, dagji^ers. Their businesii Consistsf in carrying the souls o/ 
the wicked into Naraka* or heil (where there are Said to be no les^thaft 
280 millions of places of torture) ; but they are not allowed to lay holc^ 
on any one before his fixed lifs^time is dap^d, and the souls of the piotis 
they cannot touch at all. When, howeter, sttch die as are ndther vir-* 
tuous nor wicked, then it happens that the messengers of Tama and those 
of Siva or'YiShntf Come into conflict with each other, each party chutting* 
the inditferefit Souls. 

8. The Devadisis' of Svarga, the world of ^e ^ods?, coritoBjEitoild td tlito^ 

* ^^i^^enbalg* If&s herer, a^ on pp. 25 & 3^, for Karak^, PSt^la ; bfit adcdifd- 
hig to the ParSnas, Patala ia not quite' identicaT irith hdl, but rath«r Hf^ 
the Greek Tartara^, the abode of Titans or lltakshaaaa } #hie¥i^aa Narakil U 
the proper term for hell, the aiode of wicked men. 

mi^ ATtBkMWtd AND &£tlVAl<T& 01^ THE ^BS. 189 

dAodng girls in tlie ttaipkm ; for just fts these dance before ike ilfMiges of 
the gods, atrd are embraced by Iherr devotees : so those are said to dancei 
before the gods of Svarga^ and to be embraced by them. The most 
celebrated among them are Urvasi, Rambha, and Til5ttama. Originally 
the celestial DsradHsis were daughters of Bi*ahma, and then reproduced 
by the churning of the ocean of milk ; and a certain number of them, as 
Rambha, TilSttama, and others, were, according to the Vishnti-Purana, 
the incarnated wives of Krishna. 

In the same Por&na we find the following legend concernifig the cele^' 
brated Urvasi. '* Urvasi having incurred the imprecation of Mitra and 
Yainina, determined to take up her abode in the world of mortals ; 
and descending accordingly, she beheld Purfirvasas, the son of Bndhfi 
[who was the son of Sdma (the moon) by Tird, the wife of Yrihasi^ati 

i Jupiter), the piieceptor of the gods] ; and as soon as she saw him, she 
bi^ot all reserve, and disregarding the delights of Svarga, became deep- 
ly enamoehred! of the prince. Beholdtng her infinitely superior to all 
other females in grace, elegance, symmetry, delicacy, and beauty, Por- 
drtasas was eqttally fascinated by Uf vasi : both were inspired hf similar 
sentiments, And, mntaally feeling that each was every thing to the other, 
thought n0 more of any other object. Confiding in bis merits, PtirttrVa- 
sas addressed the nymph, and said, '* Fair creatofe, I love you ^ have 
Cdmpas&rion oti me, and return my affection/' Urvasi, half averting her 
face through modesty, replied, " I will do so, if yoii will obs^ve the con- 
ditions Ihave to propose." "What are they ?" enquired the princis^} 
'* declaim them !" ** I have two rams,** said the nymph, ** which I love as 
dhlHrerif t they must bt kept near my bed^i^de, and never safPered td^ be 
c&riied away : you mtist also take care never to be seen by me undress^ 
ed ; and clarified butter alone must be my food." To tbede terms the 
king readily gave assent. 

*• Afier this, PurSrvasas und t^vasl dwelt together in Alaka, sporting 
imidst the gi'oved atid lotuS^crOWned kkes of Ohaitraratha, and the 
other forests there situated, for iAxty^ohe thousand years. "^ The loi^e of 
Pcttftrvasas for his bride incre^ed every day of i«s duration ; and the 
Affection of Urvasi aogixieDting eqdally in ferv6«ir^ she never called to 
fecollectiott liei* residence amongst the immoftals. Not so was it with 
the attendant spirits at the court of Indra ; nymphs, genii, and quiristers, 
found heaven itself but dull whilst Urvasi was away. Knowing the 
agreement that Urvasi had made with the king, Yisvavasu was appoint- 
ed by the Gandharbas to affect its violation ; and he, coming by night to 
the chamber where they slept, carried off one of the rams. Urvasi was 
awakened by its cries, and exclaimed. Ah me ! who has stolen one of my 
children ? Had I a husband, this would ilot have happened ! To whom 
shall I apply for aid ?" The Rajah overheard her lamentation, but recol-. 
lecting that he was undressed, and that Urvasi might see him in that 
state, did not move from the couch. Then the Gandharbas came and stole 

• One copy has, according to Prof. Wilson, sixty-one only. 

190 TflS ATTANDAJ^U ANB fidBRVANTO 09 lȣ GQfiS. 

the other mm ; and Urvasi, hearing it hlet^ oned oat that a woman -whd 
was the bride of a prince so dastardly as to submit to this ioutrag«^ iiad 
no protector. This incensed FurtLrvasan bigiilj, and trusting that the 
njt^p4i would not see his person, as it was dark, he rose, and took his 
sw<Mrd, and pursued the robbers, eaUiag iqpon them to st«f>, and receive 
their panishment. At that moment Uie Gtaudhar^MW caused a flash of 
briltiant lightning to pUy upon the chamber, and Urvasi beheld the kiog 
undressed : the compact was violated, and the nymph immediately dis- 
ai^peared i whilst (he Giadharbaa, abandoaipg the rams^ dc^parted to the 
rciglon to the gods. 

^ Having recovered the animals, the king returned delighted to hit 
coach, but there he beheld no Urvasi ; and not finding her any where, 
he wajMiered naked over the world, like one insane. At length coming 
to Kuruksh^tra, he saw Urvasi sporting with four other nymphs of 
heaven in « lake beautified wiUi lotuses, and lie ran to her, and called 
her his wife, and wildly im|dored her to return. *' Mighty ■monarch,'' 
said the nymph, '* refrain from this extravagance, I am now pregnant : 
depart at present, and come hither again at the end of a year^ when 1 
will deliver to you a son, and remain with you for one night." Purfi- 
ravas, thus comforted, returned to hb capital ; and Urvasi said to her 
companions, '* This prince is a most excellent mortal : I lived with him 
long and affectionately united." "It was well done by you," they re- 
plied, " he is indeed of comely af^arance, and one with whom weicould 
live happily for ever." 

" When the year had expired, Urvasi And •the monarch met again at 
Karukshdtra, and she consigned to him his first-bora Ayus ; and these 
annual interviews were repeated, until she had borne to him five sods. 
She then said to Pnrurvasas, "Through r^ard for me, all the Gandhar- 
bas have expressed their joint purpose to bestow upon my lord their 
benecUction : let him therefore demand a boon." The fi^h reiplied, "My 
enemies are all destr<^ed, my faculties are all entire ; I have friends and 
kindred, armies and treasures: there is nothing which I may not ob- 
tain except H^ing m the same region with my Urvasi. "'-HAccordiag^ 
the G&adharbas gave him their benediction, and Puruvasas obtained a 
seat in the sphere of the celestials, And was no more separated from liis 



The AdikKlikpc^lcekaa wr the Eegente of ^ Eight Ca/rdinal 


According to the imaginary geography of these heathens, the earth con- 
sists of seven great insular continents and seven circumambient oceans,* 
and beyond the seventh circumambient ocean, there is at each of the eight 
cardinal points a regent or protector of the earth, viz. 1. Indra, the re- 
gent of the east ; '^. ^&^> ^^^ regent of the south-east ; 3. Yama, the 
regent of the south ; 4. Niruti, the regent of the south-west ; 5. Yaruna^ 
the regent of the west \ 6. V&yu, the regent of the north-west ; 7. 
Euv^ra, the regent of the north ; and 8. Is&na, the regent of the 

1. Qi-fiffdt Indra^ the regent of the east, is ti^e same with D^endra, 
fte king of the DSvas, ef whom we have treated in the first chapter. 
He has to protect the earth from the great giants aftd malignant spirits ; 
lot he is satd to be very strong, and inferior to none in power and strength 
except to Isvara, Vishna, and Brahm&.f He presides also over tho 
seasons and crops, and is therefore worshipped at the seasons of sowing 
and reaping. 

2. «jy^d^ Agni, also called ^^QtAuseaask Agni-bhagav&n (fire-god), 
ike regent of the south-east, is tkie god of fire. He is represented as 
riding on a gray goat, flames of fire streaming round about him. He 
has two faces, four hands (frequently also seven), and three legs, signi- 
fying the trident which fire is said to form. On his two heads he wears 
a crown, surrounded by fire, and in his hands he holds sacrificial imple- 
liients and materials, such as a butter-tub, a spoon, wood and flowers, 
llie offerings to Agni consisting of ghee (melted butter) plaintains, 
cakes, etc., are accompanied with an incantation that is repeated one 
hundred and eight times ; and made particularly at marriages4 

3. ajLDm Yama, the regent of the south, is the god of death and king 
0f hell, where he has a capital and a throne on which he sits in judg- 
ment on departed soyk. After death the soyls of common people mast 

* S«e the Barnes of these eontinents »nd oceans on pp. 25 and 26. 

I la ike Rig-Vdda, as will be seen from the appendix, Indra is regarded 
as the chief of all the gods : Brahma is not mentioned as a god at all ; 
the names of Vishnu and Rudra occur; hut they are spoken of as in- 
ferior gods only ; the latter is not identical with Siva or Isvara, hut is the 
god of tempests ; while the former seems to be a name of the sun. 

X Agni it also one of the principal Vedie gods : see the appendisi. 


appear before bim, and, having been confronted with Chitragupta, the re- 
corder, by whom ali actions are registered, the virtuous are conveyed to 
Svarga, or Elysium, whilst the wicked are driven to the different regions 
of Naraka, or helL Tama is represented as being quite black, with a hor- 
rible face, and a crown on }^i$ head, and fdtogether surrounded by fire. 
In his mouth he has a lion's teeth, and in his four hands, he holds respec- 
tively a club, ropes, a trident, and a wine-jug, from which he gives wine 
to the dying to mitigate the bitterness of death. On the whole he is 
adorned like a king, and rides on a black buffalo. The poets have 
written many stories about him, which these heathens receive with 
undoubted credence. Of his many names the following may be men- 
tioned : 1. ^u>ek Samana (the just) ; 2. Q^mQ&irp^L^eum Chenkolka- 
davul (the god with the right sceptre) ; S. Au^jy KUddu (the separator 
[of soul and body]) ; 4. ^(^u>ar Dharma (the just) ; 5. ^m/g^dt Antaka 
(the destroyer) ; 6. *mrL^ek Chanda (the wrathful) ; 7. istDor Nama 
(like Yama) ; 8. m^^ek Naduvan (the impartial) ; 9. uiptSi Maralt (the 
confounder) ; 10. Q^m^t^^dOsirar TendisaikkQn (the king of the 
southern region). 

4^ S^ Niruti, the regent of the south-west, is represented as a giant 
of green colour, who was elevated to the dignity ne enjoys by reason 
of his severe penance. On his head he wears a €rown, and on his fore* 
head Siva's siga of sacred ashes ; whilst he is on the whole adorned like 
the other gods. Of his four hands one is empty, and in the other three 
he holds, respectively, a banner with the sign of a fish, a ling, and a 
wine-jug ; and his vehicle is a crocodile. 

5. Q!(^mairar Varuna, Uie regent of the west, is the god of the waters, 
clouds, and rain. He is represented with a green body, with two hands 
of which one is empty, and in the other he holds a sword. His head is 
adorned with a crown ; his whole body, with various ornaments ; and his 
shoulders with garlands. His vehicle is a stag.* 

6. €uiTiL/ Vayu, the regent of the north-west, is the god of the wind.f 
He is represented as having a gray colour, and four arms Utid hands, in 
which he holds, respectively, a sword, a shield, h bow, and an arrow. 
Like the other gods, he wears a crown and Various ornatnents, and his 
vehicle is a Bhtita. 

7k ^Qujmr Kuv^a, the regent of the north, is the god of rich^ Htd 
the keeper of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, a^ all the treasures in 
the earth, which he gives to those for whom they are destined by Isvara. 
He has a deformed body of white colour, with a crown on his head, and 
a «lttb in one of his hands. His whole body is adorned with vandos 

* Of Vardna, who U one of the principal goda of the VSdaa, sbm^thidit 
more Will be found in the appendix. 

t Vaya, likewise one of the ancient gods, is also callied ^Pavafia, and Ma« 
ruts, i. e. the gentle winds. See also a legend aboat him on pp. 26 and 27. 


ornaments, and his vehicle is a self-moving chariot. The poets have 
written many a story concerning him, and when these heathens wish to 
praise a man on account of his riches, they compare him to Euvgra. 
Kuvera has got various names, of which the following may be men- 
tioned : 1. jtfffarQQfifiek Harandorhan (Hara's, i. e. Siva's, friend), 2. 
QararffiriSffirear Einnararpiran (lord of the Einnaras) ; 8. ^eomsiuirtS 
Alakayali (ruler of Alaka [his capital] ) ; 4. LfQ^e^Qi/rserar Purushava- 
hana (he whose vehicle is a man) ; 5, n^us<£u)ner(tpararQidf Fushpa- 
kavimanamuUavan (possessor of the self-moving chariot) ; 6. ut/hfi/fl 
Mandiri (prime minister) ; 7. ^tar/Bear Dhanada (he vrho gives riches) ; 
8. ^oru^ Dhanapati (lord of riches); 9. iSaatoeir Fingala (the nor- 
thern) ; 10. meu^Siff^mrar Vaisravana (son of Visrava). 

8. Q^irardr Isana, the regent of the north-east, is a form of Isvara. 
He is represented as having four arms and hands, of which one is empty, 
whilst he holds in the other three, respectively, a kind of small drum, 
a stag, and a sword. His head is adorned with a crown, and his whole 
body with the usual ornaments. Near him stands a bull, his vehicle. 
Being a form of Isvara, he is regarded as the chief among the protectors 
of the earth, and believed to direct and control all. 

The images of these eight protectors and regents of the earth are 
usually made of stone, or bricks and mortar, and sometimes also of metal, 
at least that of Agnibhagavan. At the beginning of every festival 
of several days' duration, the Ashtadikpalakas are placed in their res- 
pective places within the enclosure of the pagoda, and that with many ' 
ceremonies and Mantras ; and when the festival is over, they are again 
put in their usual places with many ceremonies and Mantras. They 
receive also some honour on other occasions, and play an important part 
in the building of houses. 

Herewith we conclude thecomplicated Genealogy of the Gods of South- 
ern India, praying that God, ** who will have all men to be saved, and to 
come unto the knowledge of the truth, may open the eyes of these blind 
heathens, and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of 
Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and an in- 
heritance among them who are sanctified by faith in JESUS CHRIST." 
" The LORD alone is great, and greatly to be praised : He is to be 
feared above all gods. For the gods of the nations are idols : but the 
LORD has made the heavens and the earth. O worship the LORD in 
the beauty of holiness, and say among the heathen that the LORD 
reigneth t" 




The Qoda of the Vedaa. 

" The prevailing character," says Professor H. H. Wilson, " of the 
ritual of the Vedas is the worship of the personified elements ; viz., of 
Indra, the firmament; Agni, the fire ; Vayu, the air ; Varuna, the water; 
Aditja, the sun; Soma, the moon ; and other elementary and planetary 
personages.* The worship of the Vedas is, moreover, for the most part 
domestic worship, consisting of prayers and oblations offered — in their 
bouses, not in temples — by individuals for individual good, and address- 
ed 4)0 unreal presences, not to visible types. In a word, the religion of the 
Vedas was not idolatry.** 

*^ It is not possible to conjecture," says the same scholar, *' when this 
more simple and primitive form of adoration was succeeded by the wor- 
ship of images and types, representing Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, and other 
imaginary beings, constituting a mythological pantheon of most ample ex- 
tent ; or when Rama and Krishna, who appear to have been originally 
real and historical characters, were elevated to the dignity of divinities. 
Image-worship is alluded to by Manu in several passages,but with an in- 
timation that those Brahmans who subsist by ministering in temples are 
an inferior and degraded class. The story of the Ramayana and Maha- 
bharata turns wholly upon the doctrine of incarnations, all the chief dra^ 
fnatis personcB of the poems being impersonations of gods, and demigods 
and celestial spirits. The ritual appears to be that of the Vadas, and it 
may be doubted if any allusion to image- worship occurs ; but the doc- 
triDe of propitiation by penance and praise prevails throughout, and 
Vishnu and Siva are the especial objects of panegyric and invocation. 
In these two works, then, we trace unequivocal indications of a departure 
from the elemental worship of the Vedas, and the origin or elaboration 
of legends, which form the great body of the mythological religion of the 

" The different works known by the name of Puranas are evidently deri- 
ved from the same religious system as the Ramayttna and Mahabharata, 
or from the mytho-heroic stage of Hindu belief. They present, how- 
ever, peculiarities which designate their belonging to a later period, and 
to an important modification in the progress of opinion. They repeat 

* To 8om« of these the later Hindus have assigned the office of regents oC 
the cardinal points, as the reader will have observed in the last chapter. 


the theoretical cosmogony of the two great poems; they expand and 
systematize the chronological computations ; and they give a more difi- 
nite and connected representation of the mythological fictions, and the 
historical traditions. But besides these and other particuUrs, which 
may be derivable from an old, if not from a primitive era, they offer 
characteristic peculiarities of a more modern description, in the para- 
mount importance which they assign to individual divinities, in the 
variety and purport of the rites and observances addressed to them, and 
in the invention of new legends illustrative of the power and gracious- 
ness of those deities, and of the efficacy of implicit devotion to them. 
Siva and Vishnu, under one or other form, are almost the sole objects 
that claim the homage of the Hindus in the Puranas, departed, from the 
domestic and elemental ritual of the V8das, and exhibiting a sectarial 
fervour and exclusiveness not traceable in the Bamayana, and only to a 
qualified extent in the Mahabharata. They are no authorities for Hinda 
belief as a whole : they are special guides for separate and sometimes 
conflicting branches of it, compiled for the evident purpose of promodDg 
the preferential, or in some cases the sole, worship of Vishnu or of Siva." 
(See the Preface to Wilson's Translation of the Vishnu Purana; p. 2-4.) 
Thinking that a few specimens of the hymns of the Vedas will be 
interesting to the reader, the translator gives here a few specimens from 
Professor Max MtLUer's " Ancient Sanscrit Literature" (p. 531 etc.) 

* The following hymn, ascribed to Manu Vaivasvata (Rig-Vsda vi(i 
S0\ is addressed to all the gods.' 

1. ** Among you, O gods, there is none that is small, none that is young : 

you are all great indeed. 

2. Be thus praised, ye destroyers of foes, you who are thirty and three, 

you the sacred gods of Manu. 

3. Defend us, help us, bless us I do not lead us far away from the path of 

our fathers, from the path of Manu. 

4. You who are here, O gods, all of you, and worshipped by all men, 

give us your broad protection, give it to cow and horse." 

According to this hyran the number of the gods is thirty-three, out 
of which the later Hindus, fond as they are of enormities, have made 
thirty-three crores or 330,000,000. The Manu mentioned here is not 
the famous law-giver ; the word means here simply man, a progenitor 
of the human race. 

The following hymn ascribed to Vasishtha, is addressed to Indra 
(Rig-Veda vii. 32.) 

1. Let no one, not even those who worship thee, delay thee far from 

us ! Even from afar come to our feast ! Or, if thou art here, listen 
to us ! 

2. For these who here make prayers to thee, sit together near the liba- 

tion, like flies round the honey. The worshippers anxious for 
wealth, have placed their desire upon Indra, as we put our foot upon 
a chariot. 


Z. Desirous of riches, I call him who holds the thunderbolt with his 
arm, and who is a good giver, like as a son calls his father. 

4. The libations of Soma (the juice of the moon-plant or sarcostemma 
Timinalis) mixed with milk, have been prepared for Indra : thou, 
armed with the thunderbolt, come with the steeds to drink of them 
for thy delight ; come to the house ! 

5. May he hear us, for he has ears to hear. He is asked for riches ; 
will be despise our prayers ? He could soon give hundreds and 
thousands ; — no one could check him if he wishes to give. 

6. He who prepares for thee, O Vritra-killer, deep libations, and pours 
them out before thee, that hero thrives with Indra, never scorned of 

7. Be thou, O mighty, the shield of the mighty (Vasishthas), when thou 
drivest together the fighting men. Let us share the wealth of him 
whom thou hast slain ; bring us the household of him who is hard 
to be vanquished. 

Offer Soma to the drinker of S5ma, to Indra, the lord of the thun- 
derbolt ; roast roasts ; make him to protect us : Indra, the giver is 
a blessing to him who gives oblations. 
9. Do not grudge, ye givers of Soma ; give strength to the great god, 
make him to give wealth ! He alone who perseveres, conquers, 
abides, and flourishes : the gods are not to be trifled with. 

10. No one surrounds the chariot of the liberal worshipper, no one stops 
it. He whom Indra protects and the Maruts (winds), he will come 
into stables full of cattle. 

11. He will, when fighting, obtain spoil, O Indra, the mortal, whose 
protection thou shouldst be. O hero, be thou the protection of our 
chariots, and of our men ! 

12. His share is exceeding great, like the wealth of a winner. Him who 
Js ivith Indra with his steeds, no enemy can subdue ; may he give 

strength to the sacrificer ! 

13. Make for the sacred gods a hymn that is not small, that is well set 
and beautiful ! Many snares pass by him who abides with Indra 
through his sacrifice. 

14. What mortal dares to attack him who is rich in thee ? Through 
faith in thee, O mighty, the strong vcquires spoil in the day of battle. 

15. Stir us mighty Vasishthas in the slaughter of the enemies, stir us 
who give their dearest treasures. Under thy guidance, O Haryasva, 
we shall with our wise councellors overcome all hardships. 

16. To thee belongs the lowest treasure : thou rearest the middle trea- 
sure; thou art king always of all the highest treasures ; no one with- 
stands thee in the flock. 

17. Thou art well known as the benefactor of every one, whatever 
battles there be. Every one of the kings of the earth implores 
thy name, when wishing for help. 

18. If I were lord of as much as thou, I should support the sacred bard, 
thou scatterer of wealth, I should not abandon him to misery. 


19. I should award wealth day by day to him who magnifies, I should 
award it to him, whosoever it be. We have no other friend but thee, 
no other happiness, no other father, O mighty ! 

20. He who perseveres acquires spoil with his wife as his mate ; I bend 
Indra, who is invoked by many, for you, as a wheelwright bends a 
wheel made of strong wood. 

21. A. mortal does not get riches by scant praise : no wealth comes to 
the grudger. The strong man it is, O mighty, who in the day of 
battle is a precious gift to thee like as to me. 

22. We call for thee, O hero, like cows that have not been milked ; -we 
praise thee as ruler of all that moves, O Indra, as ruler of all that is 

23. There is no one like thee in heaven or earth. He is not born, and 
will not be born. O mighty Indra, we call upon thee as we go 
fighting for cows and horses. 

24. Bring all these to those who are good, O Indra, be they old or young ; 
for thou, O mighty, art the rich of old, and to be called in every 

25. Push away the unfriendly, make us treasures easy to get ! Be the 
protector of ourselves in the fight, be the cherisher of our friends. 

26. Indra, give wisdom to us, as a father to his sons. Teach us in this 
path, let us living see the sun ! 

27. Let not unknown wretches, evil-disposed and unhallowed, tread us 
down. Through thy help, O hero, let us step over the rushing 
eternal water I" 

" In this hymn," says the learned Professor, " Indra is clearly conceived 
as the supreme god ; but when Agni, the lord of fire, is addressed by the 
poet, he is spoken of as the first god, not inferior even to Indra. While 
Agni is invoked, Indra is forgotten ; there is no competition between the 
two, nor any rivalry between them and other gods. • 

" There are other hymns, again, in which the notion of a deity is much 
less prominent. Indra is there represented like a hero fighting against 
enemies. He is liable to defeat, his heart fails him in the combat, and 
though at last he invariably conquers, he does so rather by an efibrt 
than by the mere assertion of his power. To Agni both human and 
divine qualities are ascribed, and they arise chiefly from his character as 
messenger between gods and men, or as high-priest, when he is supposed 
to carry the oblation to the gods. An illustration of this is the following 
hymn of Vatsa. ( Rig- Veda viii, 11.) 

1 . Thou, Agni, art the guardian of sacred rites : thou art a god among 
mortals ; thou art to be praised at the sacrifices. 

2. Thou, strong Agni, art to be praised at the festivals, thou who like a 
charioteer earnest the oflerings to the gods. 

3. Fight and drive thou away from us the fiends, O Jatavedas, the 
ungodly enemies, O Agni ! 

4. Thou, Jatavedas, desirest not the offering of a hostile man, be it ever 
so nigh to thee. 


5. We mortals and sages worship the great name of thee, the immortal 

6. We sages call the sage to help, we mortals call on the god for pro- 
tection, we call on Agni with songs. 

7. May the poet draw thy mind even from the most distant abode with 
the song that longs for thee, O Agni. 

8. Thou art the same in many places, a lord among all people : we call 
upon thee in battle. 

9. In battles we call upon thee, Agni, for help when we want strength; 
we call in struggles upon the giver of precious gifts. 

10. Thou art ancient, to be praised at the sacrifices ; thou sittest as 
priest from of old and to-day. Replenish thy own body, O Agni, 
and grant happiness to us ! 

** It is curious,'* observes Professor Max Mtiller, " to watch the almost 
imperceptible transition by which the phenomena of nature, if reflected 
in the mind of the poet, assume the character of divine beings. Ushas, 
the Dawn, is frequently described in the Vsda, as she might be describ- 
ed by a modem poet. She is the friend of men, she smiles like a young 
wife ; she is the daughter of the sky. She goes to every house ; she 
thinks of the dwellings of men ; she does not despise the small or the 
great ; she brings wealth ; she is always the same, immortal, divine ; age 
cannot touch her ; she is the young goddess, but she makes men grow 
old. All this may be simply allegorical language. But the transition 
from devi, the bright, to devi, the goddess, is so easy, the daughter of 
the sky assumes so readily the same personality which is given to the 
sky, Dyaus, her father, that we can only guess whether in every passage 
the poet is speaking of a bright apparition, or of a bright goddess ; of a 
natural vision, or of a visible deity. The following hymn of Vasishtha 
(Rig-Veda vii. 77), will serve as an instance : — 

She shines upon us, like a young wife, rousing every living being to 
go to his work. The fire had to be kindled by men ; she brought light 
by striking down darkness. 

She rose up, spreading far and wide, and moving towards every one. 
She grew in brightness, wearing her brilliant garment The mother of 
the cows (the morning clouds), the leader of the day, she shone gold- 
coloured, lovely to behold. 

She, the fortunate, who brings the eye of the god, whcr leads the white 
and lovely steed (of the sun), the Dawn was seen, revealed by her rays, 
with brilliant treasures she follows every one. 

Thou, who art a blessing where thou art near, drive far away the un- 
friendly ; make the pastures wide, give us, safety ! Remove the haters, 
bring treasures ! Raise up wealth to the worshipper, thou mighty Dawn. 

Shine for us with thy best rays, thou bright Dawn, thou who length- 
enest our life, thou the love of all, who givest us food, who givest us 
wealth in cows, horses, and chariots. 

Thou, daughter of the sky, thou high-born Dawn, whom the Vasish- 


thas magnify with songs, give us riches high and wide : all je gods, pro* 
tect us always with your blessings. 

The hymns given above are fair specimens of the hymns of the Rig- 
Veda in general. The predominating desire of the composers is that 
for riches, victory, and various temporal blessings. The invbible world 
is seldom thought of ; and moral sentiments are not frequently met with; 
nor are they deep and pure. The hymns that contain most moral senti* 
ments are those addressed to Varuna, of which the following two may be 
regarded as fair specimens : — 

I. 1. Wise and mighty are the works of him who stemmed asunder 
the wide firmaments. He lifted on high the bright and glorious 
heaven ; he stretched out apart the starry* sky and the earth. 

2. Do I say this to my own soul ? How can 1 get unto Varuna ? 
Will he accept my offerings without displeasure ? When shall 
I, with a quiet mind, see him propitiated ? 

3. I ask, O Varuna, wishing to know this my sin. I go to ask the 
wise. The sages all tell me the same : Varuna it is who is 
angry with thee. 

4. Was it an old sin, O Varuna, that thou wishest to destroy thy 
friend, who always praises thee ? Tell me, thou unconquerable 
lord, and I will quickly turn to thee with praise, freed from 

6. Absolve us from the sins of our fathers, and from those which 
we committed with our own bodies. Release Vasishtha (name 
of the poet), O king, like a thief who has feasted on stolen cattle; 
release him like a calf from the rope. 

6. It was not our own doing, O Varuna, it was necessity, an in« 
toxicating draught, passion, dice, thoughtlessness. The old is 
near to mislead the young ; even sleep brings unrighteousness. 

7. Let me without sin give satisfaction, like a slave to the bounte- 
ous lord, the god, our support. The lord god enlightened the 
foolish ; he, the wisest, leads his worshippers to wealth. 

8. O lord, Varuna, may this song go well to thy heart ! May we 
prosper in keeping and acquiring ! Protect us, O gods, always 
with your blessings ! (Rig. V. vii. 86). 

11. 1. However we break thy laws from day to day, men as we are, 
O god, Varuna, 

2. Do not deliver us unto death, nor to the blow of the furious ; 
nor to the anger of the spiteful ! 

3. To propitiate thee, O Varuna, we bind thy miod with songs, as 
the charioteer a weary steed. 

4. Away from me they flee dispirited, intent only on gaining 
wealth ; as birds to their nests. 

5. When shall we bring here the man who is victory to the war- 
riors, when shall we bring Varuna, the wide-seeing, to be pro- 
pitiated ? 


6. [This they tako in common with delight, Mitra and Varuna ; 
they never fail the faithful giver.] 

7. He who knows the place of the birds that fly through the sky, 
who, on the waters, knows the ships ; — 

8. He, the upholder of order, who knows the twelve months with 
the offspring of each, and knows the month that is engendered 
afterwards (the intercalary month) ; — 

9. He who knows the track of the wind, of the wide, the bright, 
and mighty ; and knows those who reside on high ;— 

10. He, the upholder of order, Varuna, sits down among his people ; 

he, the wise, sits there to govern. 
1 1 • From thence perceiving all wondrous things, he sees what has 

been and what will be done. 

12. May he, the wise son of time, make our paths straight all our 
days ; may he prolong our lives ! 

13. Varuna, wearing golden mail, has put on hi^ shining cloak ; the 
spies sat down around him. 

14. The god whom the scoffers do not provoke, nor the tormentors 
of men, nor the plotters of mischief. 

15. He, who gives to men glory, and not half glory, who gives it 
even to our own bodies. 

16. Yearning for him, the far-seeing, my thoughts move onwards, 
as kine move to their pastures. 

17. Let us speak together again, because my honey has been brought: 
thou eatest what thou likesi like a friend. 

18. Kow I saw the god who is to be seen by all, I saw the chariot 
above the earth ; he must have accepted my prayers. 

19. O hear this my calling, Varuna, be gracious now ; longing fojr 
help, I have called upon thee. 

20. Thou, O wise god, art lord of aD, of heaven and earth : listen 
on thy way. 

21. That I may live, take from me the upper rope, loose the middle, 
and remove the lowest !* 

* This last hymn is ascribed to Snnahsepha, who was, according to the 
legend related in the following chapter, sold by his own father, a Brahman 
l>y the name of Ajigarta Sangavasi, to king Harischandra, in order to be offer- 
ed as victim to Varuna. 


1 A 



The Legend of Sunahsepha* 

** Harischandra, the son of Vsdhas, of the family of the Ikshvakas, 
was a king without a son. He had a hnndred wives, but had no son by 
them. In his house lived Parvata and Narada. He asked Narada: 
<' Tell me, O Narada, what do people gain by a son, whom they all wish 
for, those who reason as well as those who do not reason V* 

Being asked by one verse, Narada replied in ten verses : " If a father 
sees the face of a son, bom alive, he pays a debt in him, and goes to 
immortality^ The pleasure which a father has in his son is greater than 
all the pleasures that are from the earth, from the fire, and from the 
water. Always has the father overcome the great darkness by a son ; 
for a self is born from his self ; it (the new-born self, the son) is like a 
ship, full of food, to carry him over. Therefore try to get a son, yon 
Brahmans ; he is undoubtedly the world. Food is Ufe for men, clothing 
his protection, gold his beauty, cattle his strength. His wife is a friend, 
his daughter is a pity ; but the son is his light in the highest world. As 
husband he embraces a wife, who becomes his mother, when he becomes 
her child. Having been renewed in her, he is born in the tenth month. 
A wife is a wife (jaya), because man is born (jayats) again in her. She 
is a mother (abhuti), because she brings forth (abhuti) ; a germ is hidden 
in her. The gods and the old sages brought great light unto her. 
The gods said to men : " In her you will be born again." There is 
no life for him who has no son, this the animals also know. The path 
which those follow who have sons and no sorrows, is widely praised and 
happy. Beasts and birds know it, and they have young ones every 

* The legend of Sanahsepha deserves a place in this work, as being very 
instructive in regard to the manners and lites of the ancient Hindus, and mor^ 
especially as showing that, at an early time, the Brahmans did not shrink 
from offering bloody, and even human sacrifices. Our source is Professor 
Max Miiller*s History of Ancient Sancrit Literature, page 408, etc. ; and his 
original Sanscrit source is the Aitareya Brahmana. But the story is also 
found in the Sankhayana Sutras and some other writings, ^t. 

f A son is regarded as the greatest of all blessings, because it is the son 
who performs for his dead father and progenitors those rites and ceremonies 
on the discharge of which the welfare of the latter in the unseen world is sop- 
posed to be absolutely dependent. 


Having thus spoken, he said to him : Go to Varuna the king, and say: 
*' May a son be born to me, and I shall sacrifice him to you." The king 
assented, he went to Varuna the king, and said : " May a son be born 
to me, and I shall sacrifice him to you." Varuna said, " Yes." A son 
was bom to him, called R5hita. Then Varuntt said to Harischandra : 
(A son is bom to thee, sacrifice him to me." Harischandra said : 
'^ When an animal is more than ten days old, it can be sacrificed. May 
he be older than ten days, and I shall sacrifice him to you." 

Varana assented. The boy was more than ten days old, and Varuna 
sidd : '< He is older now than ten days, sacrifice him to me." Harischaui* 
dra said : When an animal's teeth come, then it can be sacrificed. May 
his teeth now come, and I shall sacrifice him to you." 

Varuna assented. His teeth came, and Varuna said : " His teeth 
haye come, sacrifice him to me." Harischandra said : When an animal's 
teeth fall out, then it can be sacrificed. May his teeth fall out, and I 
shall sacrifice him to you." 

Varun a assented. His teeth fell out, and Varuna said : " His teeth 
have fall^en out, sacrifice him to me." Harischandra replied : ** When 
an animal's teeth come again, then it can be sacrificed. May his teeth 
come again, and I shall sacrifice him to you." 

Varuna assented^ His teeth came again, and Varuna said : " His teeth 
have conoe again, sacrifice him to me.*" Harischandra said : ** When a 
warrior (Kshatria) is girt with his armour, then he can be sacrificed* 
May he "be girt, and I shall sacrifice him to you." 

Varuna assented. He was girt, and Varuna said : " He has been girt, 
let him be sacrificed to me." Harischandra assented. He addressed his 
son and said : " Child, he gave you to me ; Death ! that I sacrifice you 
to him." The son said, " No !" took his bow, and went to the forest, 
and lived there for a year. 

And Varuna seized Harischandra, and his belly swelled. This Kohita 
heard and went from the forest to the village (gnima). Indra, in the 
form of a man, went round him, and said : '* For a man who does not 
travel about there is no happiness, thus we have heard, O Eohita ! A 
good man who stays at home is a bad man. Indra is the friend of him 
who travels. Travel !" 

Rdhita thought, a Brahman has told me to travel, and thus he travelled 
a second year in the forest. When he went from the forest to the 
village, Indra, in the form of a man, went round him, and said : ^^ A 
traveller's legs are like blossoming branches, he himself grows, and ga- 
thers the fruit. All his wrongs vanish, destroyed by his exertion on the 
road. Travel 1" 

Rohita thought, a Brahman has told me to travel, and thus he travelled 
a third year in the forest. When he went from the forest to the town, 
Indra, in the form of a man, went round him, and said : ** The fortune 
of a man who sits, sits also ; it rises, when he rises ; it sleeps when he 
sleeps ; it moves well when he moves. Travel !" 

Rohita thought, a Brahman has told me to travel, and thus he travelled 


a fourth year in the forest. When he went from the forest to the 
town, Indra, in the form of a man, went round him, and said : A man 
who sleeps is like the Kali age ; a man who awakes is like the Bvapara 
age ; a man who rises is like the Tr^ta age ; a man who travels is like 
the Krita age. Travel !" 

Rohita thought, a Brahman has told me to travel, and thus he travelled 
a fifth year in the forest When he went from the forest to the towD, 
Indra, in the form of a man, went round him, and said : A traveller finds 
honey, a traveller finds sweet figs. Look at the happiness of the sun, 
who travelling never tires. Travel ! 

Rohita thought, a Brahman has told me to travel, and thus he travelled 
a sixth year. He met in the forest a starving Rishi, Ajigarta, the 
son of Suyavasa. He had three sons, Sunahpuchha, Sunahsepba, and 
Suno^ngibla. Rohita said to him : " Rishi, 1 give you a hundred cows, 
I ransom myself with one of these thy sons." The father embraced the 
eldest son, and said : " Not him," " Nor him," said the mother embrac- 
ing the youngest. And the parents bargained to give Sunahsepba, the 
middle son. Rohita gave a hundred, took him, and went from the forest 
to the village. And he came to his father, and said : " Father, Death ! 
I ransom myself by him." The Father went to Varuna, and said : ^* I 
shall sacrifice this man to you. " Varuna said, yes, for a Brahman is 
better than a Kshatria." And he told him to perform a Rajasuya sacri- 
fice. Harischandra took him to be the victim for the day when the 
Soma is spent to the gods. 

Yisvamitra was his Hotri priest ; Jamadagni his Adhvaryu priest ; 
Vasishtha, the Brahman ; Ayasya, the Udgatri priest. When Sunah- 
sepba had been prepared, they found no body to bind him to the 
sacrificial post And Ajigarta, the son of Suyavasa, said : '* Give me 
another hundred, and I shall bind him. They gave him an other hun- 
dred, and he bound him. When he had been prepared and bound, when 
the Apr! hymns had been sung and he had been led round the fire, they 
found no body to kill him. And Ajigarta, the son of Suyavasa said : 
** Give me another hundred, and I shall kill him." They gave him 
another hundred, and he came whetting his sword. Then SunahsSpha 
thought, " They will really kill me, as if I was not a man. Death I I 
shall pray to the gods. " He went with a hymn to Prajapati (lord of the 
world), the first of gods. Prajapati said to him : *' Agni is the nearest 
of gods, go to him." He went with a hymn to Agni, and Agni said to 
him : *^ Savitri (the progenitor) rules all creatures, go to him." He went 
with a hynm to Savitri, and Savitri said to him : " Thou art bound for 
Varuna, the king, go to him." He went with a hymn to Varuna the 
king, and Varuna said to him : *^ Agni is the mouth of the gods, the 
kindest god, praise him, and we shall set thee free." Thus he praised 
Agni, and Agni said to him : Praise the Visve Devah (all the gods), 
and we shall set thee free. Thus he praised the Visve Devah, and they 
said to him : '* Indra is the greatest, mightiest, strongest, and friendliest 
of the gods, praise him, and we shall set thee free." Thus he praised 


Indra, and Indra was pleased, and gave him in his mind a golden car^ 
-which Snnahsepha acknowledged by another verse. Indra said to him : 
** Praise the Asvinau, and we shall set thee free." Thus he praised the 
Asvinau, and they said to him : '* Praise Ushas (the dawn), and we shall 
set the free." Thus he praised Ushas with three verses. While these 
verses were delivered, his fetters were loosed, and Harischandra's belly 
^rew smaller, and when the last verse was said, his fetters were loosed, 
juid Harischandra was well again." 

Then, Sunahs€pha, agreeably to the request of the priests, performed 
ihe daily sacrifice, and having done with it, he sat down on the lap of 
Yisvamitra ; whereupon Ajigarta said : ^* Rishi, give me back my 
son." But Yisv&mitra replied : ^ No ; for the gods have given him to 
me. He has become D^varSlta (Tbeodotus), the son of Yisvamitra ; and 
the members of the families of Eapila and Babhru have become his re« 
kttions." Then Ajigarta, the son of Stlyavasa, said : ^^ Come thou, O 
son, we, both I and thy mother, call thee away. Thou art by birth an 
Angirasa, the son of Ajigarta, celebrated as a poet. O Rishi ; go not 
away from the line of thy grandfather, come back to me. " Sunahsepha 
replied : '^ They have seen thee with a knife, in thy hand* a thing that 
men have never found even amongst SUdras ; thou hast taken three 
hundred cows for me, O Angiras." Ajigarta, the son of Suyavasa, said : 
** My old son, it grieves me for the wrong that I have done ; I throw 
it away, may these hundred cows belong to thee." SunahsSpha replied : 
^^ Who once commits a sin will commit also another sin ; thou wilt not 
abstain from the ways of Sudras ; what thou hast committed cannot be 
redressed." " Cannot be redressed," Yisvamitra repeated (and went on 
saying) : <^ Dreadful stood the son of SQyavasa when he went to kill thee 
with his knife. Be not his son, come and be my son." Sunahsepha said: 
*' Tell us thyself, O son of a king, thus as thou art known to us, how I, 
who am an Angirasa, shall become thy son." Yisvamitra replied : 
'* Thou shalt be the eldest of my sons, thy offspring shall be the first, 
thou shalt receive the heritage which the gods have given me, thus I 
address thee." Sunahsepha replied : " May the leader of the Bharatas 
say so in the presence of his agreeing sons, for friendship's and happi- 
ness' sake, that I shall become thy son." Then Yisvamitra addressed 
his sons : '^ Hear me, Madhuchandas, Rishabha, RSnu, Ashtaka, and all 
you brothers that you are, believe in his seniority." — 

From this legend, told as it is in various writings, though with varia- 
tions, it is evident that there was a time when the Hindus offered to 
their gods, not only animals, but now and then even a human sacrifice. 
" The legend of Sunahsepha," says Prof. Max. Mtiller, was well known 
at the time when the Laws of Manu were compiled ; and this was a case 
so startling to the later Brahman s, that the author of the Laws of Manu 
was obliged to allude to it (Manu X, 105), in order to defend the dignity 
of his caste. Manu says, that hunger is an excuse for many things, and 
that Ajigarta, although he went to kill his own son, was not guilty of a 
crime, because he did so to appease his hunger. Now, the author of the 


AitarSja-Brahinuia certainly does not adopt this Tiew, for Ajlgarta is 
there severely abused for his craelty, so much so, that his son whom ha 
has sold, considers himself at liberty to leave the family of his parents, 
and to accept the offer made by Visvamitra of being adopted into his 
family. So revolting, indeed, is the description given of Ajigarta's be- 
haviour, that we should rather recognise in him a specimen of the uon* 
Aryan population of India. Such a supposition, however, would be in 
contradiction with several of the most essential points of the legend, par* 
ticularly in what regards the adoption of SunahsSpha by Visvamitra. 
Visvamitra, though arrived at the dignity of a Brahman, clearly considers 
the adoption of SunahsSpha DSvarata, of the famous Brahmanic family 
of the Angirasas, as an advantage to himself and to his descendants." 

That at an early period now and then human sacrifices were made, 
and that subsequently animal victims, and finally vegetable ofierings, 
took their place, is also evident from the following passage in the Aita- 
reya-Brahmana (Max MiiUer's Sanscrit Literature page 420). 

'* The gods took man for their victim. As he was taken, Medha 
(the sacrifice or the spirit) went out of him. It entered the horse. 
Therefore the horse became the sacrifical animal. Then the gods took 
the horse, but as it was taken, the Medha went out of him. It entered 
the ox. Therefore the ox became the sacrificial animal. The same 
happened with the ox. Afterwards the sheep, then the goat, and at 
last the earth became the victim. From the earth rice was produced, 
and rice was ofiered in the form of Puroldsa, in lieu of the sacrificial 
animal. The other things which had formerly been ofiered and then 
dismissed, are supposed to have become changed into animals unfit for 
sacrifice : man into a savage ; the horse into a Bos Gaurus, the ox into 
a Gayal ox ; the sheep into a camel (Ushtra) ; the goat into a Sarabba. 
All these animals are Amedha^ or unclean, and should not be eaten." 
: " The drift of this stroy," observes the learned Professor, " seems to 
be that in former times all these victims had been ofiered. We know it 
for certain in the case of horses and oxen, though afterwards these 
sacrifices were discontinued. As to sheep and goats they were consi« 
dered proper victims to a still later time. When vegetable offerings 
took the place of bloody victims, it was clearly the wish of the author 
of our passage to show that, for certain sacrifices, these rice-cakes 
were as efficient as the flesh of animals. He carries out his argument 
still further, and tries to show that in the rice the beard corresponds 
to the hair of animals ; the husk to the skin ; the Phalikarnas to the 
blood ; the meal to the flesh ; the straw to the bones>" 





The Hindus of Southern India (the Dravida country) speak different 
dialects of the so-called Drdvidian language, which belongs to the Scy*- 
thian family of languages. The four principal dialects of the Dravidian 
language are the Tamils the Telttgu, the Cmaresey and the Malaydiatn. 

1. The Tamil (by the earlier Europeans erroneously termed 'the 
Malabar') is the earliest and most cultivated of all the Dravidian idioms, 
and tha.t which contains the largest portion and the richest variety of 
indubitably ancient forms, and the smallest infusion of Sanscrit terms. 
It includes two dialects, the classical, and the colloquial, or the ancient 
and the modern, called, respectively, the Shen-Tamil and the Kodun 
Tamil, which differ one from the other so widely, that they might almost 
be regarded as different languages. Of the Tamil, the Rev. P. Percival 
remarks]: — "Perhaps no language combines greater force with equal 
brevity ; and it may be asserted that no human speech is more close and 
philosophic in its expression as an exponent of the mind. The sequence 
of things— -of thought, action, and its results — is always maintained 
inviolate." And Dr. Caldwell thus estimates its literary stores: — 
'^Though Tamil literature, as a whole, will not bear a comparison with 
Sanscrit literature as a whole, it is the only vernacular literature in India 
which has not been content with imitating the Sanscrit, but has honor- 
ably attempted to emulate and outshine it. In one department, at least, 
in that of ethical epigrams, it is generally maintained, and I think must 
be admitted, that the Sanscrit has been outdone by the Tamil." The 
Tamil language is spoken in the great plain of the Carnatic, from beyond 
Pulicat, 30 miles north of Madras to cape Comorin, the southern extrem- 
ity of the Peninsula ; and westward the seat of the Tamil race borders 
on the plateau of Mysore, the Neilgherries, and the Western Ghats. 
Tamil is also the language of about half the population of Ceylon ; and 
most of the military stations in the Dekhan contain Tamil communities. 

Tamil is the vernacular of about 1 2 millions. 

2. The Telugu, in respect of antiquity of culture and glossarial 
copiousness, ranks next to the Tamil in the list of the Dravidian idioms ; 
but it is more different from it than any other, and in point of euphonic 

• Extracted from Dr. CaldweU'e Introduction to his Comparative Grammar of 
the Dravidian or South-Indian Family of Languages, and Mr. Murdoch's Introduc. 
tion to his Classified Catalogue of Tamil Printed Books. 

a06 NOTE. 

Bweetoess it claims to occupy the first place. Telugu is spoken along 
the eastern coast, from about Pulicat to Chicacole ; and inland, it extends 
to about the middle of the Peninsula. It is the vernacular of about 1 4 

3. The Ganarese, properly the Ksnnadi, or Karnataka, occupies the 
third place; it is spoken throughout the plateau of Mysore, and 
northward about as far as Beder in the l^izam's Territory ; and it is 
also the prevailing language in Canara on the western coast. The 
Canarese people may be estimated at 9 millions. 

4. The Malayalam ranks next in order, and is spoken along the 
Malabar Coast on the western side of the Ghats, from Cannanore to 
Trevandrum, where it begins to be superseded by the Tamil, Malaya- 
lam is the vernacular of about 3 millions. 

Dr. Caldwell is of opinion that the earliest specimens extant of Tamil 
literature are not older than the 8th century A. D.; and the early his- 
tory of Southern India is, therefore, involved in obscurity ; for the local 
Pur&nas, which profess to give the history of the country from the 
earliest times, contain little more than childish legends. But by elimin^ 
ating from the Tamil language the whole of its Sanscrit derivatives, stxtd. 
by examining the remaining primitive Dravidian words. Dr. Caldwell 
arrives at the conclusion, that the Dra vidians, prior to the arrival of the 
Brahmans (who did not conquer South-India, as they did Northern 
India, but who * came in peaeably and obtained the kingdom by flatteries),' 
had already acquired the elements of dvilisation ; and the learned 
Doctor thinks, that they would, perhaps, at least in point of morals, be 
better without the mental culturg and the higher civilisation, with its 
fossilising caste rules, its unpractical, pantheistic philosophy, and the 
cumbersome routine of inane ceremonies, which were introduced amon/^ 
them by the Brahmans, whom they revered as ^instructors/ and obeyed 
as 'overseers.* 




Aiiitheka, ^nointiag {of idols), part of Puja 33,101 

AcUs'esha or 6^#Aa> a fabidoas kuge ttipent «... 26-27 

AdUif one of the two wives of K&syapa and the mother of the D§Tae 155, 186 

jidityaf the ton, one of the gods of the ancient Hindus (See also Stlrya) 195 

Adityai, (sans), tweWe io number, chiefs among the Devas 146, 178 

AdvatiOy non-duality, a pantheistic system of philosophy, usually 

called Vedtnta • 114, etc. 

Agamas, a set of sacred S'aiva works, 28 in number • 50 

Agasiya, a very famous Rishi, who swallowed the ocean, and did many 

other wondrous things • 7, 56, 182 

Aghoray a terrible form of Is'vara or S'iva ,, 6, 142 

Agnif the god of fire and regent of the south-east 8, 191 

— , one of the principal gods of the ancient Hindus 195 

, a hymn of the Rig- Veda addressed to him « . . 198-1 99 

ilA^fyd, the wife of the sage Gantama, defiled bylndra.... 179 

AirdvatOf the white elephant of Indra . • . • 179 

AjigartOy a Brahman who sold his son Sunahsipha, and was eren 

willing to sacrifice him to Varnna with his own hand .204—206 

AttamdprabhUf a famous Guru among the Vira S'aivas, and by them 

regarded as a form of S'ira. 

AlmanaCf of great importance with the Hindus Ill 

Alms, distributed in behalf of the dead 50 

AmdvSsi, the new moon, whpn the Hindus observe a fast and jper- 

form various ceremonies for their deceased parents 50 

Ammaif a name of Parvati, and more especially of her image in the 

pagodas 48, 54 

AmmenSf caricatures of P&rvati, called Gramadevatas (which see) 163 

Amriiay ambrosia or nectar, prepared by the churning of the sea of 

milk by the gods 5,73-74, 178 

AndiSy religious mendicants of the S'aiva sect 34, 97 

AngirasOy the name of a great Rishi 181, 205 

Aniruddha, the son of the incarnate Indian Cupid 93 

Ainkdlammeny one of the Gr&maAevatas 6, 141-142 

* This Index ^Mmtrint (oly names and terms of 8<Ane interest, and among them alsoa few notoocuning in 

ii INDBX. 

AppeTf one of the three celebrated votaries of S'iya, who composed 
a portioQ of the poem Dev&ram, which forms part of the so-called 

Tamil Veda 32 

Arjuna, the most distingaished among the five P&ndavas 4, 78 

Arunagirindthay a famona poet and devotee of Subhramanya 67-68 

ArupaitumUver, the sixty-three S'aiva saints 2, 48, 49 

Arhvdr^ Vishna's apostles, twelve in nomber 4, 71-72 

AsheSi sacred, see Fibhutu 

Ashtadikpdlaka$y the regents of the eight cardinal points. ••• 8, 191^193 

Ashta^LakikmU the eight forms of Lakshmi 4 — 5 

Ashtor Vasus, the eight Vasns, chiefs among the Devas 146, 178 

Asuras (non-gods), the enemies of the gods, descended from the 

RishiK&syapa » 7,56,73-74,154-155,179 

Asvoy see Kalki. 

Ai'vinis, two chiefs among the Divas, and physicians of the gods.... 178 

Atharvana^ the foarth or black Veda 91 

Avani'Mula^ a fast observed in honour of S'iva 49 

Avatdra$y incarnations of Vishna 3-4, 72—82 

Ayer, lord, the name given to Is'vara's image in the pagodas 46 

AyendVf a tutelar deity and king among the demons 6, 133 

— — , of impure origin 133 

■, his image and the images of his wives described 133 

■, his pagodas with the images in them described .... 133-134 

— — , the worship he receives described 134 

■■, his various names 134 

■, a letter concerning him 135 

Ayodhya, the birth-place and capital of Rama 77, 88, 89 

Ayudha'pujaf inairument-worship, described 100, 106-107 


Balahhctdra or Balardma, said to be the ninth incarnation of 

Vishpu 4,80 

Bdlakrishna or Bdlagopdla^ the young Krishna, worshipped 122 

Basdva, the name of Nandi, the bull of S'iva, in Canarese, (and 

also of a very ferocious Vira-S'aiva) 2 

Bathing, supposed to be efficacious in removiug sin 57-58 

Bhadrakali, a form of P&rvati and one of the Qr&madevatas 6, 142-143 

■ , dances in emulation with Is'vara 49, 142 

■ ■, receives bloody offerings and assists in the practice of 

the black art 143 

» , her various names 143 

Bhagifatha^ a king who caused the Ganges to come down from 

heaven 26, 56, 58 

Bhairava, a terrible form of Siva 2, 47, 49 

Bharaia^ the step-brother of R&ma 4, 77, 85 

INDEX. iii 

Bhdraia^ one of the great epic poems of the Hindus, nsnally called 
Mah&bh&rata, which see. 

Bhishmoy a celebrated leader of the Kaara army 58 

Bhima^ one of the five Pandavas, a man of enormous strength « 4, 85 

Bhunddevij the goddess of the earth, and Vishnu's secondary wife 5, 91 — 92 

BhuUu^ a sort of demons * , 7, 153 

Bloody sacrifices^ offered to the Gr&madevatas 5, 131, etc. 

, offered to devils 170 — 171 

, offered to the gods of the Vedas 202 — 206 

Brahmdf the name given to the supreme, or rather the universal 

spirit in the Vidanta philosophy 115, etc. 

Brahma f one of the five faces of S'iva .... 1, 30 

— — , one of the Mummurttis, via., the creator 5, 97, etc. 

— — , his origin , 29 

— , has his fifth head cut off by S'iva 97 

, his image described ,. ••«, 97—98 

■ f is not worshipped, except under the form of the Brahmans. . . 5, 98 

, his various names 98 

u, a letter concerning him 98-^99 

, has but one wife, but several mistresses 99 

Brahmachdrtfj a Brahman student 186 

BrahmanSy sprung from Brahm&'s head and reverenced as Brahm& 99 

, officiating in the temples less esteemed than others ..... 29, 195 
£rahmd' Samdge, the name of a society of Hindu theists, most 

numerous in Calcutta 12 

Buddha^ the founder of Buddhism, a supposed incarnation of Vishnu. . . 4, 82 

Buddhism^ a sentimental, godless system of religion .... 123 

l/tkic/Autf, extirpated in India 4, 7 9_ 80, 123 


Castes^ their origin as explained by the Hindus 99 

ChakrOy the discus, one of the weapons of Vishnu\ , .24, 71, etc. 

Chdmundif a caricature of P&rvati and one of the Gr&madS- 

vatas 6,5^,144—145 

Chandra^ the moon, her phases explained 47 

Chandras'ekhara, the moon-crested, one of S'iva's many names 44, 46 

Charita, the first degree in the S^aiva system 

ChaturtH^ the fourth day after the new and full moon, sacred to 

Vighnes'vara 61 

Chitambaram, (Chillumbrum), a town in Southern India with a very 

famous S'iva temple 49, 51, 142 

Chola^ one of the ancient Hindu kingdoms, comprising the districts 

round about Conjeveram, its capital 46, 85, 120 

Conjeveram^ a large town, 46 miles to the west of Madras, contain- 
ing many temples, and among them two large ones, sacred to S'iva 
and Vishnu respectively 83, 120 

Cupidf the Indian, see Hanmatha. 

ir INDBX. 


Daksha, one of the PiBj&p«ti« or progenitort of mankind 55, 181 

■ , gives twenty-sevtn of hit daaghtert in marriage to Chan- 

dra, the moon 47 

, is the father of S'iva'B first wife, Sati 55,147 

■ , has his great sacrifice destroyed by TIrabhadra 6, 146 151 

Daityas and Danavas, names of the Asoras 78 — 74, 155 

Dama^an^, the faithful wife of king Nala 184 

Dancing-girU^ see D'evadSiiu, 

Dar^Ao, sacrificial grass 50,95 — 96,102 

Dasasy an order of Vaishnava devotees 84 

X>e/t^e, tradition of the.'. 72^73 

Demonotcary^ the religion of the Sh&nftrs 161—176 

, practised all over India 171 

' , its origin discnssed , , 171—176 

DemoHSj see Bhutas and Peygel, 

DevaddiiSf celestial, the courtesans of Svarga 6, 188-^190 

— — , earthly, the dancing girls in the temples 33, 65, 105, 106, 109, 113 

Devaki, the mother of Krishna 78 

Devaioka^ Bee Svarga, 

Devdramf a famous S'aiva poem, part of the so-called Tamil Veda. 32 

Dera^,* secondary gods, described 7, 178-179 

, opinions regarding their origin 155, 178 

■ ■ ■ ■, their heayen described 7, 178 

Devaydnai, or Devasena, one of Subhramanya's wives ^ . 3, 68 — 69 

Devendfa, the king of the Devas, see Indrti, 

Devi, goddess, more especially used for P&rvatl 56, 147 

Devils, see Peygel and Pis'achas, 
Devil-worship, see Detnonolatry, 

Devil'dmndng, described 168 169 

Devil-temples, described . , 166 167 

Dharma, or Dharma-rajah, alias Yudhishtira, the eldest of the 

five Paudavas ^ «... 4,78 

Das'aratha, the father of Rama 4, 77, 88 

Dhavantari, the physician of the gods who rose from the sea of 

milk , 74 

Dhapa, incense J offered to idols, belonging to Puja 33, 111 

Diksha, initiation into sacred rites 33-^34 

Dipdli, the name of a festival in October, when lamps are lighted by 

every one, after a little oil is pnt on the head, to commemorate 

the killing of Narakasura by Krishna. 
Dm, one of the wives of the Rishi Kasyapa, the mother of the 

Asuras or Daityas 155, 186 

Draupadi, the wife of the five Pandavas 78 

* Diva in the singular, which means simply 'god,' is rarely need for any Indian divinl^ without ao 
additional epithet, but it is used hy Christians for we true God* 



Drdrnda^ SovLih'lndi9> ....«* 73 

DutgCf a form or caricatare of P&rvati, and oa« of tii« Grama- 

deyataa 6, 65, 144» 174 

DurvasaSf a Risbi of a ckolerie temper, whoae curse it of dreadfal 

effect,. , 7,73,186 

DuttUt mesaengers of the gods,,.. • ....7 — 8,188 

Duryodhana^ the head of the Kuras, who made war with the 

FandaTas..'. 4,73 — 7$ 

Zhaitaf duality, a system of philosophy 114 

Dvapara^yiitga^ the third age of the world 4, 82 

DvdrapdlakaSf door-keepers 2, 46, 49, 71, ete. 


EcUpies^ explained mythologieally 48 

'■ y aospicious for bathing 57 

£kddas'iy the eleventh day after the new and fall moon, observed 

by the Vaishnayas as a fast-day 85 

JEUpharUSy fabled to support mount Maha-Heru 24, 26 

JEUammen^ one of the Gramadevatas, in Southern India identified 
with Renukn, the wife of Jamadagni, the father of Parasu- 

rama,...' ) 6,136—13 

, her image, temples, and worship described «... 137— 138 

£lyHum^ see Svarga, 

£mancip(iHon, from transmigration, (see also Hoksha) 125—126 

£xoreismy the power of it ascribed to the GrfimadSvetas 6, 55, 140 

y praictlsed very frequently, more especially by the Shftn&rs 164 — 165 


Falsehood practised by the gods, and in certain cases even enjoined 
in the Law of Mann 73, 98 

FasiSf (and rites) observed in behalf of the dead 50 

J'asis, observed in honour of Is'vara or S'iva 49^-50 

■, M „ „ „ Vighnes'vara 61 

-, „ „ „ „Sabhramanya 65 

•, ,. w ,. „Vishnu 85 

-, M #, » „ Lakshmi ..89 

Feminine Power of tbe Parabaravasjta, see S'alti. 

Festwals^ some of the principal ones described 105 — 109 

», celebrated in honour of the Oramadevatas, described.... 13l» 133 

Funernd ceremonies more especially of the Brahmans, described 50 


GanandthaSf see Ddtas. 

Ganapati and Ganes'a lord of hosts, a name of Vighnes'vara 3, 60 

GandharbaSf celestial choristers .... 7, 187-^190 


GamgOf the riytr Gangtf, IsVara'f secoDdarj wife 2, 56, etc. 

) etoriea coDcerDing her - 56 

, bathing in the Ganges and other waters most efficacious in 

removing sin 57 

— — , her yarions names 57 

, a letter concerning her 58 

— — , her play-mates 2, 58 

, another story concerning her . « 58 

GarudOf a certain bird, Vishna's vehicle 72, 86 

GauiamOf a famoas Rishi , 7, 179, 182 

■, a name of Baddha 122 

Gdyairi^ the most sacred Mantra of the Brahmans 47, 103 

Giants, see BakskaMa$ and Jsuras. 

Gndna, wisdom, the fourth degree in the S'aiva system 32 

Gndnavenpa, a book treating of the Par&baravasta 18 — 20 

GndniSf ascetics possessed of mystic knowledge 18, 186 

Gopdla and Govindu^ common names of Krishna 83 

Govarddhanoy a mountain lifted np by Krishna 79 

Grdmadevatas, tutelar deities '. . 5—6, 36—37, 56, 131—145 

Grihasta, a Brahman who is a householder 186 

GunaSf qualities, of which there are three principal ones 122 

Gurus, ruling priests Ill — 113 


JSanuman^ the monkey general, who assisted Rftma in his war with 

R&vana, being regarded and worshipped as a demi-god. 4, 72, 77 

Hara, a name of S'iya 44 

iJart, a name of Vishnu 84 

Bari'Hara or Hari^Hara^putra^ a name of Ayen&r 6, 133 

Harischandra, a celebrated king of great uprightness 184 — 185 

, gets a son from Varuna, but is required to offer him 

to the god. which he will not do 202 — 206 

Heaven^ see Svarga and Mokska. 
Hell, see Narc^a, 

Hinduism, comprising various contradictory creeds 156—159 

Hiranya or Hiranyakasipu, a king destroyed by Vishnu as 

Narasimha 3, 75 

Homa, a certain sacrifice, described 102 

Human sacrifices, offered to the earth by the Khonds 143, 170 

■, occasionally offered by the ancient Hindus 

to their gods 202—206 


Indra, identical with Devendra, the king of the Devas 7, 179 

, described as such 179 — 180 

, his various names 180 

INDBX. vii 

Indra^ the regtnt of the eaat 8, 91 

, the chief among the godi of the ancient Hindus 191, 195 

, a hymn of the Rig-VSda addressed to him 196—198 

Indrajitf the son of Rfttrana, and the conqueror of Indra 86 

Indrdnif the wife of Indra 180 

Iffdna^ the regent of the north-east, a form 6f Is'vara 8, 193 

iffvara^ the lord, the " practical" deity in the Vedanta 116, etc. 

, identical with S^iva, and the chief among the Mnmmuittis, . . . . 2, 43 

, remarks regarding the stories written about him 44, 46 

, his many names 44 — 46 

■ ■ , his attendants 46 — 49 

■ ■ , festivals and fasts in his honour .... 49 — 50 

y books treating of him 50 — 52 

, his residence 52 

■ , a letter concerning him 53 

, the husband of P&rvati and Ganga 54, etc. 

— — -, the father of VighnSs'vara 59 

— , » „ „ Subhramanya 63 — 64 

■ burns and reyives Manmatha, the god of love, 63, 94 

■ cuts off Brahm&'s fifth head and becomes mad 97 


■ produces, together with Vishnu, Ayen&r , 133 

■ dances in emulation with Bhadrakali , 49, 142 

■ appears as Aghora 142 

■ curses his wife ^ 145 

— ' produces Vlrabhadra 148 


, one of the regents of the cardinal points, in the form called Is'toa 8, 193 


Jatntm, a system of religion, described 123 — 124 

Jamadagnif a famous Rishi, the father of Parasurftma, at whose com- 
mand the latter cut off the head of his mother Renuka 136—137 

Jangamas, a name worn by the Viras'aivas (which see) 31 

Jayanti^ the birth-day of Krishna, celebrated as a festival by the 

Vaishnavas 84 


Kaikeya^ one of the wives of Das'aratha and mother of Bharata 77 

KaUisa, S'iva's paradise 2, 7, 55, 189 

Kdlh one of the names and forms of P&rvati 55, 163, 166 

Kaliyuga^ the Kali-age, the fourth or iron age in which we live....4, 80 — 82, 103 

Kcdkiy Vishnu's future incarnation as a horse .4, 80 — 82 

Kalpa, a cycle of ages 29, 74 

Kalpobkavriksha^ a tree in the world of the gods, yielding whatever is desired 178 
Kdmay the Indian Cupid, in the Tamil country usually called 
Manmatha, which see. 

Tiii ^ INDSX. 

K'lmhamy a celebrated poet, the writer of the R&miyaiia in Ta&il 86 

KimadkenUf a wondrovs cow ia STsrga, the world of the gods .... 76, 178 

Kama, the maternal unele and enemf of Krishna 78, 86 

Kapiia, a famoae Riahi 7, 18S 

Kourmaniara^ the end of a funeral ceremony which continnee lor 

sixteen days ^ 50 

Kvrtta^ maker, lord, a name given to the Supreme Being 17 

KirUika Dlpay the name of a festival, celebrated in the month 

K&rttika. in honor of Snbhramanya. when lights are placed at the 

door and other parts of the house, and fires kindled on hills 65* 

Karttikeya^ a name of Snbhramanya, as having been nnrsed by the 

K&rttikas, i. e., the Pleiades '. 64,65 

Karttaviryay a king who stole the cow of the gods, and was killed 

by Parasnrftma 76 

Kd^iy the sacred city of Benares 52 

Kdsyapa^f h famous Rishi, the father of both the Devas and the 

Asuras 7, 186 

Kittdn^ a mighty demon, feared and worshipped 6, 138 — 139 

Kdtterij a terrible demoness, feared and worshipped 6, 141 

Eauiofya, the favourite wife of Das'aratha, and the mother of Rama 

and Lakshmana 77 

Kedarirvata^ a fast for women in honour of Is'vera 50 

Kerala, the modem Halabar coast, won from the ocean by Parasu- 

r&ma (see Errata and Addenda) 114 

KetUj an imaginary planet, said to cause the elipses of the sun and 

the moon 48 

KkondSy an aboriginal tribe in Orissa, offering human sacrifices 148, 170 

KimpuruihaSi celestial musicians • • . 7, 188 

JTiimaraff heavenly choristers 7,188 

KrUhnOj the eighth incarnation of Vishnu 4, 78, etc 

' , a letter concerning him • . . 78 

—^—, a sketch of his life 78—79 

■ , the father of Pradyumna, the incarnate Indian Cupid .... 5, 93 

Krita-yugoy the first or golden age ... ^ 4, 82 

Kriya^ the second degree in the S'aiva system 32 

Ksha^riaSy the second or warrior caste 99 

I ■ , subdued by Parasur&ma 76 

KumbhaJtama, a R&kshasa, brother of R&vana 154 

KundodarOi the umbrella-bearer of Is' vara 2, 46, 48 

Karaiy a celebrated poetical production in Tamil treating of morals .... 78 
Kfirma'amtdroy Vishnu's incarnation as a tortoise, assumed in order 

to enable the gods to churn the sea of milk for Amrita or Nectar 3, 73—74 
JTaru^, the descendants of Kuru, whose war with the Pandavas is 
described in the Mah&bharata. (See also Duryodhana, who was the 
head of the Kurus) 4, 86 

'* See alao ^'SmtoaiidAddoiuU.*' 

INDEX. iz 

Kusa, one of the ■one oJ R&ma by Sita — .... 5, 95 — 96 

J^uve r Of tht god of jiehes, and the regent of the north 8, 192 — 193 

Lahshmana, the faithful brother of Rama 4, 77, 85, 89 

ZfOkshmi, the principal wife of Vishnu, and by the Vaishnavas 

regarded as the Feminine Power of the Deity 4 — 5, 88, etc. 

reverenced also by the S'aiyas as the sister of S'iva .... — . 88 

a letter concerning her as Sita ........ 88 — 89 

a description of her image, and the worship she enjoys 89 

her various names 89 — 90 

another letter concerning her 90 

an acxu)unt of her rising- from the sea of milk, from the 

Vishnu Purana 90—91 

Languages of Southern India 207 — 208 

Lanka, the residence of the giant Havana, supposed to be the 

modern Ceylon 4, 77, 154 

Lava, one of llama's sons by Sita 5, 96— 96 

Lxnga, the principal form under which S'ivais worshipped 1, 27, 46 

■ , various kinds of Lingas 28 


, the worship affered to it described ^. . . . 33 

Lingtidhdris^ wearers of the Linga 28 


Mcihali or Mahdbali, a king who was trodden down into hell by 

Vishnu in his V&mana-avatara 3, 75 — 76 

Mdbalipuram, see the " Seven Pagodas,** 

Madhvachdrya, frequently named Ananda Tirtha, the founder of 

the Dvaita philosophy • 121 

Madura, a town in Southern India, the capital of the ancient Pandia 

kingdom, and a famous S'aiva place 51, 65 

Mahd, abreviated Jfi, signifying 'great,' and prefixed to many names, 

as Mahadeva, Maha-Lakshmi Maha-Vishnu, etc. 
Mdhdbhdrata, the one of the two great epic poems of the Hindus, 

relating, with many episodes, the war of the Pandavas with the 

Kurus • ^* 

Mahdmagha, (commonly Mamangam), i. e., the occurence of the fall 
moon in or about the asterism Magha with other astronomical inci- 
dents, wl^ch occur once in twelve years, and which time is auspi- 
cious for bathing, especially at Combaconum 57 

Mahd'Meru, a fabulous mountain of extraordinary height 24, 27 

Mahavlra, the last and greatest of the Jaina saints 123 

Mahes'vara, (the great lord), one of the five great lords or faces of 

S'iva 1'30,44 

Manavdhj the head of the Tengalas (a Vaishnava sect) 31 


Mandarat the qiouiitiaii wMch vm tued by tbe godt at a elmnusg 

Btick at the .ch^^ning of the lea of milk 3, 73 

Mdnih/avdchaker, a devotee of Siva and a poet 32, 45, 51 

Manmatha^ the Indian Cupid 5^ 93^ etc. 

«, his image described 93 

■, letters concerning him « 93 94 

"*, burnt to ashes and revived by Is' vara 63 94 

', his various names , 94 95 

Mantras, formulae of prayer, supposed to have a magic power..... 101—104 

———, differing with the various sects .,. 30 31, 7Q 

Manu, the great Hindu law-giver , 73, X95, 205 

Mdrgarhi'tirumanjanay the name of a festival celebrated in honour 

of Is'vara , 49 

Mdriammeny one of the Gramadevatas and the goddese of the small. 

pox and other terrible diseases ^ 6, 138 

" , her image and pagodas described 138—139 

■ ,. her worship descrihed ^ 139 

■ ', her various names .....,...♦ 139 

, a letter concerning her 149 

Mdrkanda or Mdrkandca^ XYa^ name of. a famous Eishi, mod also of 

aPnrana 7,51,186 

Masculine. P/xwer of the Pardbdravastu^ see S'itM i, 29—35 

MarutSy personified and deified winds 192 

Mdsika, the monthly fast and ceremonies through a year for one 

deceased • 50 

Matsya — avatara, Vishnu's £rst incarnation as a fish 3,72—73 

Mdya^ illusion, personified as the bride of the divinity 39, 121 

Meru, see Maha^Meru, 

MetemsychosiSf see Transmigration of the soul, 

MifndnsOf one of the six Sastras ^ 114 

Mohiniy the female form of Vishnu, in which he copulated with S'iva 

and brought forth Ayenar 6, 133 

Mohsha, absorption in the deity, erroneously identified with heaven. 178, 186 

Monkeys, regarded as sacred 72 

Months^ of the Hindus (in Tamil) 49 

Moon, see Chandra and Soma, 

Mudevi, the goddess of misfortune 5, 91 

Mummurttis, the Hindu Triad, consisting of Brahma, Vishnu, and 

S'iva or Is' vara (which see) ^ 2, 41, etc. 

Munis, sages, also called Rishis, which see *....« 181 



Naivedya, meat-offering, belonging to Puja .,...., . 33, 101 

i^AwZa, one of the five Pindavas , 4,78 

INDBX. xi 

Nakif a famotig king, wko lost, for a time, both hit kingdom and his 

faithful wife Dailiayanti 184 

Ndma^ lit name, and applied to the tridental mark which the Vaish- 

navas wear on their forehead 31 

Namahsfivdyay the principal Mantra of the S'aivas 30 

iVdm^ the foster-father of Krishna , 78 

Nandi or Rishabha^ the bull of S'iva or Is'vara 2, 43 

Nandikes'vara, a form of Is'vara or his vehicle 2, 43, 46, 48 

NdrctdOf a famous Rishi and the prince of musicians, frequently going 

on errand » 7, 56, 79, 182, 187 

• , declares to king Harischandra the benefit of having a son.... .... 202 

Naraka, hell, the abode of the wieked 8, 188, 192 

Narasimha^ Vishnu's incarnation as man-lion 3, 75 

Ndrdyana, one of the principal names of Vishnu 1, 31, 83, 121 

Nava SakH, the nine S'aktis 36 — 37 

NiruHf a giant, the regent of the south-west 8, 192 

NydyCiy one of the six 'Sftstras 114 

• • ■ 


Om, the mystic syllable by which the Supreme Being is denoted . . . • 30, 31 
Vm namo Ndrdyanaya^ the principal Mantra of the Vaishnavas 31 

Pancha Kdrttas^ the five great gods or lords, the five faces of S'iva... 1, 3^ 
Pancha PdndavaSy the five P&ndavas, whose war with the Kurus is 

celebrated in the Mah&bh&rata 4, 78 — 79 

JPanfl^aram, a kind of Saiva devotees 21, 34, 134, etc. 

JPdndia, an ancient Hindu kingdom in Southern India 46 

Pan'dit. a learned Native 119, etc. 

Pannagas, snake-charmers in the Devaloka 7, 187 

Pantheism, described and refuted 9, etc. 

J*ardbara(n), (the Most high), a term used by Christians for the true God. 9 
PardbaravastUy as conceived by the Hindus, not the true Supreme 

Being 1, 9, etc. 

, conceived as an immaterial being, i. e., the uniirersal 

spirit 1,17—22 

■ , conceived as a material being, i. e., the' universe .... 1, 23 — 28 

■ , the masculine power of the, identified with S'iva .... 1, 29 — 35 

' ', the feminine power of the, called (S'akti) 1, 35 — 39 

Pdrabrahmd, the supreme or rather the universal spirit 10 

ParadesOSi wandering devotees 34 

Pciramdtma, the supreme or rather the universal spirit 120 

Pardsfaktiy the supreme S'akti, see S'akti 1, 36 

Parasurdmay i. e., Rama with the aze, the sixth incarnation of 
Vishnu, the destroyer of many Kshatrias, and the eivilizer of 
Kerala or Malabar 3—4,76, 136—137 

xii INDEX. 

PariahSy a namerous low caste of people 99, 136 — 137 

ParvaUy the consort of Is'vara or S'iva, and by the S'aivas identified 

with the supreme S'akti ... I 2, 54, etc. 

— — , her image described 54 

■, her various names 55 

— — , books treating of her 55 

— — — , a letter concerning her 56 

, the Gramadevatas caricatures of her 55, 144, 167 

Pdtdldy the lowest of the seven lower worlds, by Ziegenbalg identi- 
fied with Naraka, hell 25, 32, 188 

Penance^ called Tapas, practised by gods, Bishis, Bakshasas, and 

men, to obtain boons 66, 76, 78, 88, 94, etc. 

PeriarTambirdn^ lit. the great god, the name of an image in the 

temples of the Gramadevatas 6, 141 

Perumdly the great personage, the most common name of Vishnu in 

the Tamil country 83 

Perumdl'tirundL a festival celebrated in honour of Vishnu and his 

consort ... . 84, 106 

Peygely evil spirits or devils, represented as being very horrible. .... 6, 152 

', opinions regarding their origin 152 

■ , their various names 152 — 153 

Piddrif a fierce Gramadevata 6, 144 

Piigrimages, made very extensively, and regarded as very meritori- 
ous by the Hindus 85, 125 

Pillaiydr, the most common name of Vighnes'vara in the Tamil 

country 3, 60 

Pillaiydr Chaturtti^ a fast on the fourth day of the new or full moon 

in honour of Vighnes'vara, and more especially in the month Avani 

(August — September) 61 

Pillaiydr'TionbUf a fast in honour of Pillaiyar, only another name for 

the above 61 

PisdcJiaSi the Sanscrit word for Peygel, which see. 

PlanetSy according to the Hindus nine in number .' 48 

Pole, captain, killed in Travaucore, and subsequently worshipped as 

a demon •••• 175 

Polygamy, more frequently met with among the gods than among the 

Hindus 68 

Pongalf the greatest of the unsectarian festivals of the Hindus .... 107 — 109 

Pradhoshavrata, a fast observed by the S'aivas 49 

PradyumnOy the incarnate Indian Cupid, a son of Krishna 5, 93 

PrahlddOy a devotee of Vishnu^ saved from the hands of Hiranya by 

Vishnu in his incarnation as Narasimha 75 


PrajdpatiSi progenitors of mankind 181 

PrdyaschiUa, expiation ^^ 

Pudkalaiy one of the wives of Ayenftr 6, 133 

Puja^ worship with ceremonies, described 33, 101 — 1^ 

INDEX. xni 

Pajdri, an inferior priett 145 

Pulastyay a famoot Ridii 164, 181 

Pundarlka. a celebrated Eishi 7, 182 — 183 

Punuly the sacred thread vorn by the Brahmans and some other castes .... 28 

Puranai^ one of Ayen&r's wires , 6, 133 

PurdnoA, books containing legendary tales of gods, heroes^Rishis, etc., 
of vhich there are eighteen principal ones, and eighteen secondary 

ones, besides ' local' Fnr& as 7* 50, etc. 

Purohilas, honoured priests 110 — 111 

Purushottama, one of the names of Vishnu 1, 70 

Pururvasas, a king who had an amour with the celestial courtezan 

Urrasi 189—190 

Pushpakavimdna, a self -moving chariot 188, 193 


RddhOy one of Krishna's favourite mistresses 79, 122 

RdhUy one of the nine planets of the Hindus, an imaginary being 

supposed to cause the eclipses of the sun and the moon..... 48 

RdkshasaSy a kind of horrible giants 7, 153, etc. 

■ , some of the principal ones named and described 154 

■ , doing penance to obtain great boons 94 

Rdmay a very famous incarnation of Vishnu as the son of King 

Das'aratha of Ayodhya (Oude) 4, 76, etc 

— — , a letter concerning him 76 — 77 

— , an outline of his life and exploits ^ 77 

., a letter concerning his marriage with Sita 88 — 89 

^ a letter concerning his repudiation of Sita and his reconcilia- 
tion with her 95 — 96 

— — , converted into a demon by certain Sh&n&rs « 175 

^af7ia7}i{;t2^ a Vaishnava philosopher, the founder of the so-called 

Visishtadvaita system 119 — 121 

Rdrndf/ancty the oldest of the two great epic poems of the Hindus, 

in which the principal hero is Kama 86, 183, 195 

Eatiy the wife of Manmatha, the Indian Cupid 5, 93 — 94 

Rdvanay a Rakshasa king of Lanka (Ceylon), who carried away Sita, 

Rama's wife> but was finally slain by the latter 7, 77, 154 

« , a festival celebrated in his honour by the Shan&rs 175 

RentikOf the wife of the Rishi Jamadagni and mother of Farasur&ma. . . . 3, 76 

' , identified with the Gramadevata Ellaramen 136 — 137 

i?^-Feia, the principal one of the four Vedas 91,99 

. , hymns from it 195—201 

RishabkayA bull, S'iva's or Is'vara's vehicle 43 

Rishis, great sages ' 7, 181 — 186 

Rivers, sacred 2, 58 

Rohita, the son of king Harischandra, given by Varuna and required 

as a victim by the same 203, etc. 


Rohinif a oonstellatioa, personified as one of the wives of the moon •. 47 

Rudra, one of the five great lords or facet of S'iva 1, 30, 34 

— , in the Rig-Veda apoken of as an inferior god 191 

RudraSy inferior gods 146,178 

Rtidrakshfiy the fruit of the eleocarpns, made into a rosary and irom 

by the S'aivas as a very sacred thing , . ., 27 

Rukminif the only lawfnl wife of Krishna 79 


SaddtfivOy one of the five faces of S'iva. 1, 30 

Sdgara^ a king who had 60,000, sons 26 

SageSy see Eishis. 

Sahadeva^onB of the five P&ndavas 4, 78 

SaintSy adored by the Buddhists and Jainas 123 

S'aivaSy devotees of Siva 1,24, 31, 33, etc. 

SdinhikeyOy an Asnra or giant, who stole Amrita or nectar when 
the gods churned the sea of milk, for which Vishnu cut him into two 

pieces, called R&hu and E§tu, which are said to cause the eclipses 48 

Saktiy the Feminine Power of the Parabaravastu 1, 36 

■ , her image described -36 

-..-^ , her various names 36 

■ , the mother of the Nava-S'akti 36 — 37 

I , worshipped together with S'iva under the form of the Linga 37 

■ , also adored in an abominable manner 37 — 38 

..— -> , a letter concerning her .... 38 

S^akH'^yjay i. e.> S'akti^worship, an abominable thing 37 — 38 

. , its probable origin 39 

Sakya-muniy « name of Buddha •■ 122 

Sdldgrdmy an emblem of Vishnu, and worshipped as such by Vaishnavas 102 

Sdma-veday one of the Vddas 74, 91 

SampdndeTy one of the three most famous S'aiva poets and devotees 32 

Saniy the planet Saturn, whose influence is supposed to be malignant.. 48, 184 

Sankara Achdryay a celebrated VSdantist 31, 114, etc. 

Sankhay i. 6., a conch-shell, one of the principal weapons of Vi8hnu.24, 71, 145 

Sankhyay one of the six S'astras, properly so called 114 

Sankrdnti^ the beginning of the year (or a month), and a name of 

the festival which is commonly called Pongal, which see 107 

Sannydsviy an order of religious devotees 107, 186 

Sarasvatiy the consort of Brahma and the goddess of letters 5, 99 

, het image described 99 

■, not worshipped except at a festival called Sarasvati- 

puja 99 — 100 

. ;*, her various names ^ ...•..., « 100 

m , ^^ — ^y a letter concerning her 100 

Strves'vara'y lit. the lord over all, (a name used for the true God by 

the Roman Catholics) 17 


SdsiraSy religions books, of tlio Hindat in general, and more espe* 

cially certain philosohpical syatems, six in namber 21, etc. 114 

Sati, S'iva's firet wife, a daughter of Dakeha 65, 147 

Satrughna, one of R&ma'e step-brotberB 4, 85 

Sattan, a. name of Ayenar, and not identical with Satan in the Bible. ... 134 

Sdtyabhdma, one of Erisbna's mistresses 79 

Serpents, fabled to anpport the world 26 

— r , regarded as sacred and even worshipped 107, 137 


S'eshaf a eerpent king, see Adi-^esha, 

^Stvtn PagodcUy* the, an interesting place, 34 miles south of Madras, 

by the Natives called Mabalipuram 75.^75 

ShdndfSf a numeroUE^ tribe in the southern-most part of India, of 

whom there are now about 80,000 Christians 156 

■ , a description of their religion as heathens 156 176 

Siddhas, ascetics, and a class of celestials 7, 18, 187 188 

Sitd, the faithfnl consort of Kama and an incarnation of 

Lakshml. ....... ;........ 4, 5,77, 88 — 89, 95—96 

Siva, by the S'aiyaEi considered to be the Masculine Power of the 

Parabaravastn , 1, 29 35 

—»-y bis image described. 29 

•— , his five faces 1 30 

-, his names as regarded as the Supreme Being » 3X 

-, books treating of him as such ,,, ... 32 

•, his dwelling place 32 

•, worshipped with offerings under the form of the Linga. 33 

-, a letter concerning him 34 35 

■, identical with Is'yara, which see likewise 2, 44, etc. 

SivO'dutas, messengers of S'ita 7^ 188 

S^ivagndhodha, a small celebrated S'aiva work 32 

Svedrdtrit lit. S'iva's night, a fast observed by the S'aivas .•...,, 49 

Sivavdkya^ the name of a well-known work treating of S'iva as the 

Supreme Being 18 ^2l 

Skanda, a name of Subhramanya , . . . . 54 

Skcinda^PurdfUl, a well known Pnrana 53 

Skanda Shasthiy a fast and festival observed in honour of Skanda 65 

Smartas, a section of Brahmans, who regard Brahma and Vishnu as 
manifestations of S'iva, aiid S'iva, or Parabrahma, as the supreme 
or rather the universal spirit ; and who wear on their forehead three 
(sometimes only one) hori2sontal lines of pulverized aandal wood, 
with a reddish or blackish round spot in the centre 3I 

Smritiy the law of Manu. 31 

Soma, the moon, worshipped by the ancient Hindus (See also Chan- 

dra)....,,..., , 195 

S5ma, the juice of the moon-plant, an intoxicating drink offered by 

the ancient Hindus to their gods I97 

xvi INDEX. 


8*1% a name of Lakthmi, the goddesi of proiperity. (Alfo Tery 

freqaently used as an adjective meaning illoftrioas) 89, 90 

S^ri'Ranga^ a famous temple and place sacred to Vishim, near Tri- 

chinopoly 82, 120 

Subhramanyay Is'yara's yonnger son 3, 63 69 

' , his origin and war with Sura. 63 — 64, 66 

, his image, pagodas, and names 64 — 65 

, festivals and fasts observed in his honour 65 

■ , books treating of him 65 — 66 

, a letter concerniog him 66—68 

■-; :, his two wives described « ...» 68 — 69 

-, a favorite with the Sh&n&rs 162 

Sudras, the lowest of the four original castes among the Hindus 99 

SugrivOf a monkey prince, and friend of Bama 77 

SunahsephUj a Brahman's son, destined to be a victim to Varuna 204 — 206 

Sundarer or SundaramiirtH, a famous S'aiva poet 32, 47 

Supreme Beings the true, described 9, etc 

Sura, a tyrannical giant, slain by Subhramanya 63, 66 

Mrya, the sun worshipped by the Hindus (see also Aditya) 47 

iS'tt^^ a famous Bishi 7,185 

Suttee, (from Sati, a virtuous wife), a widow allowing herself to be 

burnt with the corpse of her husband 55, 147 

Svdmiy god, lord, applied to any of the gods, and also to priests, and 

to the true God too 31 

Svarga, the Indian Elysium, the world of the gods and also of 

mortals possessed of some merit 7, 179, etc. 

TO't^des^vara, the most famous and most honoured of the sixty-three 

special devotees of Is'vara 2, 47, 48, 49 

Tap as f see Penance, 

Tengalaiy lit. the southern branch, a sect among the Vaishnavas 31 

Tiru, an adjective, signifying divine or sacred, prefixed to many names. 

Tiruchuranaf a paste with which the forehead is marked 89 

TirU'kQbl^dna, lit. the sacred or divine wedding, the name of a festi- 


val celebrated in honour of Is'vara and Parvati. 49, 56, 105 — 106 

— — — , the name of a festival celebrated in honour of Vishnu 

and Lakshmi, also called Perumfil-tirunal, which see. 
TirundmOy see Ndma, 

Tiruntru, see Fibhuii, 

Tiruvdthaka, a famous S'aiva work . . . ; ; , ... .32 

Tithi, a lunar day, and also the anniversary of the decease of a parent, 

elder brother, etc * 49, 50 

Transmigra^n of the soul, refuted 125 — 130- 

Tretdyuga, the second or silver age 4, 82 

INDKX. xvii 

TrimMrtHMy ibe lodiao Trladi «ee Mummuritis. 

Trinifyi M^ My, oot againit. only above teatoa • 13*^14 

jTr^H^ a town with a. y^ry famoiu templo saored to Vishnn 27, 82, 85, 120 

X'ukuiy ocymam ganctony logarded aa aacrt d and made into a rosary 

by the Vaieh^aTas. ,,•••,•.... «. 71 

7\im6tirt<, a celeatUI mnaician , 187 

Tutelar deiiie$^ gee (?ra«ia<^tfv(i^a#« 


ZJpdfiuhadSy a class of sacred books, containing doctrines of the Vidas 

explained and enlarged according to the Vdd&nta ,.... 118 

TJrvasi^ the most famous among the ooartesans of the Ddval^ka 169 

., a story concerning her , 189 — 190 

Ushas^ the dawn, by the ancient Hindus regarded and worshipped as a 

goddess .....•••.> • 199 

■ '■, a hymn from the Rig-Veda, addressed to her ............ 199 — 200 

Vadagalai, lit. the northern branch, a sect among the Vaishnavas 31 

Vaikunthay the heaven of Vishnu. '. . 8, 24, 25, etc. 

Vcoirdgis, a class of ascetics 25 

VaishnavaSy the followers of Vishnu 1, 24, 25, 31, 70, etc. 

V(MtfCL9, the third of the original four castes 99 

Vdjrayudha^ the thunderbolt, Indra*s weapon 179 

Valif a monkey prince, killed by R&ma 77 

VaUabha, Achdrya, the founder of a Vaishnava sect. 122 

VcUUammaif one of the two wives of Subhramauya. 3« 68 — 69 

Vdlmtkiy a famous Rishi, and the reputed author of the R&m&yana in 

Sanscrit..., 7,86^95 — 96,188 

Vdmana'avatdra. an incaroation of Vishnu as a dwarf^^Brahman 3, 73—76 

Vdna'pr<i$thay a recluse* a Brahman of the third order. . , 186 

Vcbrihct-'avatdra^ Vishnu's incarnation as a boar , • • • 3, 74 — 75 

Varada^rdjahf Vishnu's name at Conjeveram • 83 

Vdruna^ the regent of the west and the god of waters 8, 192 

■ , one of the jgods of the ancient Hindus • 200 

■ y two hymns from the Rig-Veda addressed to him. ........ 200 — 201 

■ ' , gives a son to king Harischandia, and requires the same as 

a sacrifice... 203—205 

Vasishta^ a famous Rishi 183— 184, 196, etc. 

Vdsukiy a serpent king, which the godft used as a rope when they 

chumedc the sea of milk 26, 73 

VasuSn see Asbta-Vasus. 

VdyUi the regent of the north-west and the ^od of winds 8, 192 

•^...^ one of the gods of the ancient Hindus. ... «...., 195 

xviii INDEX. 

VdpUf a story eoneerning him 26— >27 

Vsddntd, a pantheistic, faatastieal system of philosophy 114 — 119 

Veddntins, followers of the above system. ... 115 — 119 

Vedas, the most ancient and most sacred books of the Hindus, four 

in number 3, 91, 98, 195, etc. 

VedU" Vi/dsa^ a famous Rishi, the reputed compiler of the Ve- 

das 7, 98, 182—183 

Venkatdchalay a name of Tripeti, which see. 

Veguttvam, lit. plurality, a name gi^^n to Vishnu's ninth incarna- 
tion by Ziegeabalg's correspondent 4, 79 

VentiSf the Indian, see Bati, 

Vibhishana, Ravapa's brother, who sided with Rama and was there- 
fore seated on his brother's throne, 77, 154 

Vibhutiy the sacred ashes of burnt, cowdupg, with which the S'aivas 

besmear their forehead and sometimes their whole body.« 29 

VidyddharaSj celestial scholars 7, 188 

Vighnesfvara^ Is'vara's elder son 3, 59, etc. 

, his origin 59 

, his image described 60 

, his pagodas and worship described 60, 62 

. — , his various names 60 — 61 

^^. — '''■'■' ., fasts observed in his honour 61 

, books treaiting of him. : 61 

' '.— — — , a letter concerning him ... . .". 61 — 62 

■ , his image standing in the temples of the Gramade- 

vatas........ 133,137,142 

Vindydkdy a name of Vighhes'v?ira 3, 56, 60 

VirdbTiddrd, a terrible being, created by S'iva for the purpose of 

destroying the sacrifice of Daksha 6, 146 — 151 

I ■ ■,• his image, which stands in the temples of the Grama- 

devatas, described 1^^ 


divaSf a special class of Linga-wearers. ...........;..; 28, 102 

one of the five great lords or faces of S'iva 1» ^ 

by the Vaishnavas considered to be the Supreme Being or the 

Masculine Power of the Parabaravastu 1, 31, 70, 120 

one of the Mummurttis 3 — 4, 70, etc. 

a passage concerning him from the Vishnu Purana. '^ 

his image described ' ^ 

the various images in his pagodas enumerated 71 — 72 

his Avataras or incarnations 72 — 8* 

his most celebrated pagodas °^ 

his various names ^^ — 

the worship he enjoys described 

festivals and fasts observed in his honour .^. . 84— o«> 

books treating of him ^^ 

a letter concerning him 

the husband of Lakshmi and Bhumidevi 8^» «'^' 

INDEX. xix 

VtshnUf the repated father of Manmatha (Capid) 93, ete. 

■ ■, assames the female form named Mohini, copolatei with S'iva, 


and brings forth Ayen&r 133 

•, mentioned in the Kig-V§da as an inferior god 191 

VishnU'dutas, messengers of Vishnu 7, 188 

Vtsishthddvaitay a system of philosophy, founded by the Vaishnava 

philosopher Ram&nuja 119 — 121 

VUvdmitra^ a famous Rishi 7, 185, 204 — 206 

Vrihaspatij the planet Jupiter, Guru or priest of the Devas, vhom he 
once deprived of his blessing, in consequence of wbloh they suffered 
greatly i , ^ ... 179 

Vj/dgat Bee Feda-Fyasa. 


Yagdf a burnt-offering, formerly made on a grand scale by kings, etc 179 

Yama^ the king of death and hell, and regent of the south..... . . 8, 191—- 192 


■ , killed and revived by Is'vara ♦ 61 

Yama-dutaSyY hm^i's messengers 7, 188 

Yoga, the third degree in the S'aiva system . . . . 32 

-^— - , one of the six S'astras 114 

YogiSy an order of ascetics ^.,» 186 

Yudhishtira, commonly called Dharma-rajah, the eldest of the five 

P&ndavas 4,78 

Yttgds, ages, four in number, named Krita, Treta, Dvapara, and Kali.... 4, 82 


Pig . 

XV, line d,* for ** inMmash'%... « . • read ** inasmaeh." 

w , r,. 31* ♦, ** Miailoniary*' . ,i " If isiionary." 

6, », 15, II "numerous" „ " nameroua." 

13, „ 21, „ " iins" „ "ain." 

15, note, line 4, for ** obtains" „ " attains." 

29, ,1 9, „ "tonsiit".* „ "consists." 

23, 11, 18i If " whereupon" „ •* and that," 

29i i» 4, „ ** whereupon both ener- 
gies assumed „ "and become two energies in*" 

„ , AOte I« ,1 the sentence beginning\ „ " To the three streaks of sacrtd 

with "Not all" andf ashes on the forehead, called 

ending with " yermil- 1 Tripundra, the S'aivas add usn- 

lion".* » «•«... J ally a roude spot of pulTerized 

sandal wood, and sometimes they 
wear only the latter." 

30, lines 5, 14, 19, for " Puncha Kart- 

tftkel" „ " Pancha KartUs." 

32, note III, line 3, for *' Yftga" „ " Y5ga." 

33, lines 19, 20, for " formulas «f 

prayers" „ " formulae of prayer." 

33, line 37, for " j»cr" , "jpar." 

39, note, line 2, for *' was" „ " gave." 

45, line 19, for " ififflr<?(g)ar" „ " (]y)«r<?(g)«r." 

„ , to the note add ** riding. himself on one of them." 

47, line 7, for ** Chandra-Surlyer" read " Chandra-Surya." 

62, „ 13, after "a part" insert " of." 

53, note, for " the end of the appen- 
dix to part IV" read " chap. V of the appendix to part II." 

57, line 24, after " plunge" insert " into the tank." 

58, note III, for " page 6" read " page 2." 

61, to note I add " Pill aiyarChaturtti and Pillaiy fir- 
no nbu are not two different fasts 
but only two different names for 
one and the same fast." 

65, line 10, for " sirir^fims** read " suu^ Aippasi." 

„ , „ 1 1, after " festival" insert " and observe at the same time a 

strict fast for six days." 

* In oooDtioc Um linM (onit ttie heading of the pages and chapten* 


65, note I, line 3, for " (Oct-Nov.)".. read " (Nov.-Dec.)" 

„ , to note I add ** and lights are placed at tke door 

and other parts of every house ; 
hence it is called strir^fims 
fiuth E&rttika-d§pa> i. e., K* 

69, note, line 1, after " mentioned*'.... insert " viz." 

71, line 27, for " these" read " them." 

76, to the note add "In the Kerala-ntpatti (Kerala 

[Malabar] — origin) Parasur&ma 
is said to have caused the ocean 
to retire from Malabar, and to 
have introdaced Brahmans into 
the same." 

78, line 31, for " ^oi^ishb'* read '< /sots-iS^." 

80, note I, after " end" insert " of." 

88, note I, for " 8 & 9" read " 4 & 5." 

98, note, line 5, to « page" add *' 73." 

107, lines 30 & 35 ; & p. 108, line 5, for 

" Magha" read « Marga (M&rgarhL)" 

117, „ 35, for " Ved&nta" „ « Vedftntins." 

119, „ 10, „ "enjoyed" „ "enjoined." 

„, „ 20, „ "simimal" „ "similar." 

134, „ 42, „ "jy/^(tidr" „ "^/^tt/«r." 

153, „ 32, „ "appear" „ « appeared." 

154, „ 12, „ " Knmbhakarma" , " Kumbhakama." 

„, „ 44, „ "went" „ "gone." 

155, note, line 2, for " Dita" „ " Diti." 

160, line 25, for " desembodied" „ " disembodied." 

,., last Une, „" the" „ "a." 

171, line 7, for " fate" „ "fact." 

180, „ 17, „ " ^/^jAtf fiarfisrar" " ^aSffAmmrmr^k/' 

„ , „ 5, from the bottom,.. cancel " but." 

181, „ 17, for"in" read " on." 

182, „ 36, after " sacred" insert " this water." 

184, note, line 3, from the bottom, for 

"became" read " become." 

196, line «, for " difinite" „ " definite." 

197, „ 8, „ "be" „ "he." 

206, „ 30, „ "stroy". „ "story." 

Index, page VIII, « Karul,"for "78" „ " 18.' 



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